White iPhone laid out on the floor with three pink paper cut outs shaped as comment bubbles with a white outline of a heart, person and another comment bubble in each one.
Cristian Dina/Pexels.

COVID-19 news has consumed our smartphones day after day. With updates, news and recommendations from the CDC, there is no break in coronavirus coverage. Everyone is self-isolating to minimize the spread and social media influencers are doing the same. Many have altered their content in order to fit their self-isolation, but still keep their channels going. 

With so many isolated to their homes, a spike in social media use has occurred, which is a good and bad thing for influencers. With YouTubers, bloggers and Instagramers staying at home as well, there is a potential struggle to keep interesting content going while stuck inside their homes. 

A platform that is on the rise is TikTok. Due to the platform being easy to use, and a recurring theme of dances in the home, the app has risen immensely since the self-isolation period. 

According to Music Business Worldwide, “TikTok’s gross US revenue for the week commencing March 16 was $1.1 million, up 34 percent.” More people are downloading the app and buying off of it from ads.  

With more time on social media, there is a spike in the celebrity realm as well. Starting out very average, Charli D’Amelio, a 15-year-old social media personality, has taken the app by storm. And the quarantine is gaining her more and more views. As of March 2020, she has accumulated over 44 million followers on Tik Tok, and the New York Times dubbed her “ the reigning queen of Tik Tok.” She is the most-followed on the platform. D’Amelio also has 11.8 million followers on instagram and over 800,000 on Twitter. 

Many of D’Amelio’s TikToks are in her room, or in her house, so she doesn’t really need to go out to gain viewers. Other influencers however, are struggling with content production because their outlets rely heavily on them going out. Vlogs titled “spend the day with me while I shop” have quickly turned into “spend the day with me while in quarantine.”

YouTube fashion and car enthusiast Sophie Shohet has had to put banners on prior videos she’s filmed. With a recent video about designer goods, she placed a disclaimer banner saying, “I filmed this prior to the COVID-19 situation, which is why I seem so happy and upbeat. I hope you are all healthy and well.”

Shohet has said in other videos that she’s staying in during the self isolation period and her future uploads will be changing to more of a sit down style. She no longer does car videos with her alternative ideas being bag collections, designer hauls and home improvement projects. 

Many media influencers have been seen doing similar disclaimers. While some like D’Amelio are soaking up the coverage, others are getting backlash from viewers saying their continent is insensitive to the situation. Though there are fans who still welcome the upbeat vibe of videos, saying it’s a great distraction from all of the other news coverage about the virus. 

A popular beauty guru and social media influencer Jeffree Star said in a recent vlog that he doesn’t know how to approach the virus. 

“I don’t know what words I’m allowed to say today… a lot has happened,” Star said in his recent vlog.

Even with the title being described as “clickbait,” Star goes out to get botox during “quarantine” in his custom pink McLaren car. People in the comments mostly laughed at the serious, yet unserious vlog. Others took the casual feel as disrespectful to the recommendations advising others to stay in. 

Most influencers are changing their content from trips to morning routines. Because they can’t go out either, room tours, organization videos and DIY projects are taking over people’s feeds. Despite staying in, some influencers use the time to catch their fans up on personal life.

Social media is a great distraction from the reality of the virus and it’s helping people through quarantine. Even though some channels are hurting, everyone is adapting to the new way of life amidst staying in and social distancing. 

With hopes that the virus spread will decrease in the next few weeks, people and influencers alike are gearing up for the long haul of staying inside and getting work done. 

Emilie Rodriguez can be reached at ryleejackson@sagebrush.unr.edu, or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.