VIRAL SENSATIONS: Townsville’s most famous TikTokers
It took the world by storm when we were in lockdown because of COVID-19 and social media juggernaut TikTok has only continued to boom since.
Initially released in 2016 by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, TikTok seemingly took over the planet during the coronavirus pandemic.
From viral dances, funny videos and political movements, the platform shook-up the social media scene and made the likes of Facebook and Instagram sit-up and take notice.
With more than 1.1 billion users, TikTok has been a great vehicle for people to get noticed and build their brand.
This hasn't been lost on some savvy North Queenslanders, with many becoming a star in their own right on the platform.
One local who has become a popular figure on TikTok is Ian Zaro.
Mr Zaro is no stranger to the spotlight after a series of viral Facebook videos led him to appear on ABC's sketch show Black Comedy.
He's only garnered a greater following since joining TikTok and currently boasts 1.9 million followers and has more than 35 million likes on his array of funny videos.
"My content is different to most," Mr Zaro said of his TikTok feed.
"I post usually when I want and post about whatever I want. It's an app to have fun on and that's what I do; have fun.
"What I most like about Tik Tok is its ability to allow people to express themselves however they want. I feel like it opens people up to the world quickly and efficiently, adjusting itself to suit every individual.
"It's crazy how social media can get your name out there."
The 25-year-old's most popular video got a jaw-dropping 29.5 million views.
"The feeling of having a viral video is amazing," he said.
"The fact that you are spreading smiles and laughter to so many people is so rewarding."
Mr Zaro said keeping it simple was the key for North Queensland youngsters wanting to make their big break on the platform.
"My advice to anyone who is trying to blow up on TikTok is don't try so hard.
"Honestly have fun. Be yourself. People these days can tell what's real and what's not.
"Be able to tell a story clearly and share from your experiences. People can relate to many things.
"I just got back from New Zealand and have a few projects on the way, so it's good to know that TikTok was one of the many parts that got me to where I am now."
TikTok isn't just an asset to build your personal profile, but also your professional one.
Craig Crichton runs Magnetic Island Sea Kayaks and said his company had been able to branch out through videos which had gone viral on the platform.
"We were just putting film up around the island and a bit with the tour as well," Mr Crichton said.
"We have had a fair few bookings through TikTok. It amazed me that a lot of people didn't know Magnetic Island existed.
"We recently had four people from Cairns book and they hadn't even heard of it."
As his popularity grew Mr Crichton began posting comedic videos with his sons Mitchell and Ollie on the platform.
"We'd just do random things; fishing ones, funny comedy dances and things that we do as a family," he said.
"It took off and we kept doing funny videos for our family and friends in north Victoria, Melbourne and Sydney struggling with COVID.
"We wanted to try and cheer them up."
The loveable father and his boys have put a smile on the face of more than a few, with their profile now having more than 80,000 followers and 2.5 million likes.
Their biggest video has also been viewed more than five million times.
"There's been a couple of friends who have called us and said my videos have come up on their TikTok. A lot didn't know I had it.
"Friends have downloaded it since and have been a part of it."
Mr Crichton dismissed the stereotype that TikTok was just a site for teenage girls to do viral dance moves.
"There's been some great videos. There was one where it was helping farmers to plan for backburning and things like that.
"There was also advice for cyclone Niran, there were people putting videos on there and saying not to go out on boats."
Here's some other North Queenslanders who have found fame on TikTok:
Likes: 18.1 million
Mikaela mainly posts videos flaunting her lavish lifestyle with boyfriend Atis Paul.
The socialite was once a regular on the Townsville social scene and a former employee at Bank Nightclub.
The OnlyFans tycoon now lives on the Gold Coast and made national headlines in 2019 when she broke down over Instagram hiding likes.
Ashlei is a budding makeup artist and puts her stunning work on TikTok.
The 22-year-old Waluwarra woman told the Townsville Bulletin last year her designs were inspired by her culture and heritage.
She has both Indigenous Australian and Greek Cypriot heritage.
Ashlei does work with Mecca and Adore Beauty on social media.
With more than 10,000 followers, Khloe has captured a large audience for her TikTok feed.
Still only 20-years-old, Khloe has been a social media sensation for more than three years and was a popular figure on the Townsville nightlife scene.
Khloe also has a large following on OnlyFans which contains even racier content than her Instagram and TikTok.
Khloe recently moved to Melbourne.
Likes: 8.6 million
The 'self-appointed North Queensland mum of TikTok' has a massive cult following for her comical posts about her day-to-day life.
Ashy posts regualry and keeps her fans up to date on all the funny events which unfold around her, with many about being a mother.
Originally published as VIRAL SENSATIONS: Townsville's most famous TikTokers