Social Media Stardom: Jack & Jack

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This week I have decided to blog about one of my closest friend’s social media fate – what could have been. Perhaps Nick Krone was just the “Re-Vine” away from social media stardom. My friend Nick Krone introduced me to Vine, the brand new social media platform, in February 2013 one month after its initial release. Nick embraced Vine from the beginning and spread it rapidly throughout our high school as he was creating hilarious videos that all wanted to watch. As his Vines began to spread to high schools all over the Omaha metropolitan area, two guys one year younger than us were inspired to imitate exactly what Nick was doing.

Introducing Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky. These two best friends launched a vine account called “Jack and Jack” to replicate Nick’s for their high school crowd. From the start, Jack and Jack tell Nick that he is the reason they started making Vines. Immediately following their entrance onto Vine the “Re-Vine” feature was released that allowed Viners to repost a Vine for their followers to see, similar to a “Retweet”. This feature was released at the perfect time for Jack and Jack as it can be accredited with their fame – without the “ReVine” no one account would have been realize so many loops.

At the beginning of summer, Jack and Jack released their hit vine – Nerd Vandals.

This video was picked up by the Huffington Post and deemed “The Perfect Vine.”

After this video went viral there was no looking back.

Jack and Jack, my little brother’s middle school friends, were now all over the Vine top boards, being reposted by the most famous Vine compilation accounts and “ReVined” by hundreds of thousands. At the time, Jack and Jack had just finished junior year of high school. By the start of their senior year Jack and Jack had millions of followers on Vine.

Fast Forward: Following their senior year their fame was rapidly growing. Recognizing this as an amazing opportunity, Jack and Jack decided to forego attending college and tour around the country with other teenage social media superstars Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier, Taylor Caniff and Shawn Mendes. This group of teenage guys, or the “MagCon Boys”, have a combined 30 million followers on Vine and 23 million on Instagram. The MagCon events were held in hotel ballrooms and small venues from Los Angeles to Miami, Boston to Seattle and each show would sell out!

Following this massively successful MagCon tour, Jack and Jack decided they would move to Los Angeles to begin producing music and creating videos. They realized their success on Vine would eventually expire as the social media site began to mature, so they began reaching out to their fans asking them to follow their other accounts on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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After living in Los Angeles for a short while they decided to go on another tour: DigiTour. In three weeks, Jack and Jack visited 18 different cities to perform their new hit songs, Wildlife, Distance, Flights, Cold Hearted and Like That among several more. Following their tour, Jack and Jack released a movie on the entire process.

As of today, Jack and Jack have released 11 songs on iTunes and sold over 1 million songs. Their songs have reached their way onto many charts including: Billboard, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop, Hot Rap, Bubbling Under 100, Pop Digital, Twitter Top Tracks and Billboard Hot 100. Jack and Jack were invited to the Teen Choice Awards where they were nominated for the “Top Viner Award.” In addition, they have been interviewed by Ryan Seacrest, per his request, and appeared on “The View” to preform their song Tides. Jack and Jack have been able to successfully leverage their success by partnering with VerizonMichelin and Pizza Hut to just name a few.

This unbelievable rise to stardom is a very unique case that shows us the power of social media. Two normal guys from Omaha, Nebraska have become social media stars… and all they needed was an iPhone.

So there are a few takeaways from the great success that Jack and Jack have been able to experience over the past year and a half.

  1. Take advantage of opportunities
    1. Jack and Jack were presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue music as their career. They knew they have the chance if they could successfully leverage their social media fame. They did so and have realized great success in doing so.
  2. Continuously adapt to thrive
    1. Jack and Jack would probably be irrelevant if they had not made the transition from Vine into the other social media platforms. They continued to produce content their fans loved, but strategically transformed it to the other platforms.
  3. Have fun and be grateful for your opportunities
    1. Jack and Jack praise their fans. They recognize that without them they would not be able to do what they are. During their interviews, they consistently offer praise to their fans while explaining how much fun they are having doing what they love.

Although it was not one of my best friends who realized this immense success, it has been fun to watch Jack and Jack continue to do so well.

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Click here to view their official website.

Singing off,




  1. Loved this post! I really liked how you provided the timeline of how they grew in popularity and evolved on social media. It’s interesting how their Vine fame coincided with the introduction of the “revine,” something that maybe held your friend Nick back. I also loved your takeaways–Jack and Jack really did take advantage of their Vine fame to build a brand and achieve enormous success. I think it’s important to note too that Jack and Jack thank their fans. Especially in regards to social media celebrities, fans are really the backbone of their success, the people who chose them from obscurity. I’m sure the people who have followed Jack and Jack from the beginning like to be thanked for their role in this journey too.

  2. Great post! I have seen their vine before, but was totally unaware of how famous they had become just from that one vine! I think its so crazy how people SM can completely change people’s lives! I agree with Erin that you had really great takeaways and that it’s important that they consistently thank their fans. Like you said, it is so important to constantly adapt with SM because it is constantly evolving and new platforms are constantly becoming the new “popular” ones. It is very similar to how companies should be as well. Companies should also keep up with SM platforms, but of course only after they have a strategy going into it. I think its also so smart of companies to use them for commercials. For example, the Michelin Safe Driving Campaign was great because I’m sure the majority of their followers are other teenagers and it helped reach the right audience and make their campaign more successful.

  3. Social media seems to have truly transformed the avenues and ways through which someone could become a star. Your “takeaways”, provide a clear understanding of the important steps and the serendipitous collision of events (ie the dawn of the “re-vine”) that can propel ordinary teens to stardom. I was not aware that social media stars went on “tours”, but this decision surely seems to be an effective way to make sure that one’s stardom is not strictly limited to the Internet. I had a similar experience with a friend from my small high school in Wilmington, Delaware. Skyler Bouchard, a recent grad from NYU, has developed a name for herself in the foodie world with her Instagram account with over 45,000. Like Jack & Jack, she has done some shifting of her life plan, as instead of pursuing a traditional career has decided to pursue Dining by Skyler full-time since her graduation in December with the hopes of her Internet fame turning into a TV show. In the world of social media stardom, it seems apparent that you need to monopolize on your current moment of rising stardom to move yourself from the level of Internet sensation to household name.

  4. Great post! Pretty cool to see how their careers evolved solely through promotion on social media. I looked up some of their YouTube video’s and songs which have over 6 million views. I think your takeaway in regards to, ‘continually adapt to thrive’, is the most important for all aspects in life. Others will surpass you if you’re not constantly trying to improve yourself, business, or product. Jack and Jack utilized the power of social platforms, and adapted to trending markets.

  5. Great post. It is crazy how they were able to turn their vine popularity into something more. I think that taking advantage of opportunities is a very important takeaway. I do question their decision to not attend college. They were vine famous, but will that sustain them for the rest of their lives? Hopefully it does! After checking out their website, I can see that they are doing a pretty good job of self promoting, and are starting to move away from their childrenesque roots and moving towards a more adult look. Best of luck to them in the future

  6. Great post, I honestly had no clue how popular you could get on Vine. I think this is a great example of how certain social media platforms can foster really interesting forms/expressions of creativity if created properly. Jack and Jack clearly have talent, and its awesome that Vine was able to capture that somehow. I’m sure the same is true for those other people who are social media famous.

  7. I agree with @rkeilson, Jack and Jack clearly have talent that people want to follow and will continue to follow in the long term. Your point about adaptation is SO critical. These two individuals were able to make one good video, but they continued to bring their fans back through reinventing themselves, utilizing multiple platforms, etc. It seems like it would be an easy things to do (making a funny video), however as we have learned throughout this class, managing social media is definitely NOT easy. Your statistics regarding the number of followers is simply astounding. Companies would pay A LOT of money to have a following such as the ones you have mentioned. I am assuming the majority of their followers are young teenage girls; not posing much economic value through social media platforms, but as we learned about their tours and music tracks, they used their followers loyalty and social media platforms to achieve stardom. Really enjoyed reading this!

  8. Such an interesting post. I’m not a big Vine user but every so often when there’s absolutely nothing left to check on my phone I’ll refer to Vine and I’ve actually come across a lot of Jack and Jack’s videos. I think this is a really great example of how unpredictable and fickle social media can be, and it’s a shame your friend Nick got the wrong end of that. I think your second point about being able to adapt and thrive is crucial to maintaining popularity and traction with one’s online audience. Each platform is constantly changing, like you mentioned with Vine and it’s “re-vine”, and addition to that there’s constantly new platforms emerging. It’s important for users to make use of other available platforms as well as the one where they initially took off. I was looking through the links you provided and Jack and Jack are not only on Vine but Instagram and even MySpace (interesting move). I think breaking out of their niche and merging into all these different categories is what is keeping their fame alive.

  9. Really awesome post. I really like how you used your buddies as examples in this post as well. This post shows again like some above users have mentioned the idea of social media stars. It is so cool to me that with Social Media, that regular people can be born into stardom! I think it is awesome that you used a topic that is meaningful to you, and for that I think this post was awesome!

  10. Great post! Social media has such an incredible ability of recognizing unknown talent and publicizing it and sharing it to millions. Jack and Jack wouldn’t have been able to attribute their success today if it hadn’t been for the existing platform of vine and it’s “re-vine” feature. It’s pretty cool that you had an opportunity to experience this rise to virtual fame personally and see how vine made your brother’s buddies into who they are now! Recently, Vine has had a downfall so it’s impressive that Jack and Jack were able to take advantage of the opportunity they had when they did! We already know that when it comes to social media timing can mean everything.

  11. This was one of the most entertaining posts I have seen on this blog. It is definitely a cool thing to see that basically every day kids can become famous and performing in front of crowds of millions. I think it is also especially interesting that an app like vine gives young kids the ability to display their humor to anyone willing to watch. I also enjoyed your three takeaways from the blog as a whole, especially the second one. Continuously adapting in order to survive is not only one of the takeaways from this blog, but probably from the course as a whole. Businesses need to be willing to constantly adapt to their surroundings to make sure that they are not being left behind. A lot of issues arise when companies become comfortable in their current state and are nervous about changing further. They have to understand that there will come a point when the status quo will no longer be effective.

  12. Conor killer post. The teen stars like Jack and Jack are what got me so interested in the capabilities of SM beyond the connecting with our friends and why I’m taking this class. It must have been fun being able to experience/watch Jack and Jack blow up, but maybe hard not to feel a little bittersweet as well knowing that that could have been your buddy Nick haha. One key that you noted, which a lot of the commenters above also noticed, is being grateful for the opportunities that SM has offered them. I like how you talk about how they always try to show appreciation towards their fans. What’s crazy to me is how well of a marketing tool this appreciation serves as. If you look at the Twitter accounts of some of the teen stars like Cam Dallas for example, you’ll be blown away (I’m sure you’ve seen them already but I’m still still shocked every time I peak at them) by how often they respond to fans, favorite and retweet their tweets, and just interact with them. The kind of engagement it fosters is unbelievable. Looking at all of these star-crazed fan accounts is practically as intense as Justin Bieber. All of these guys and girls put so much work into and do such a great job of creating a personal brand then ensuring that they reach out to the people who support that brand generates such an unbelievably strong and loyal following.

  13. This is a fabulous post. I love these types of stories that I never would have heard of otherwise. I do also think it requires – perhaps not talent – but alot of creative energy to keep doing it over and over again day in and day out. Not everyone can sustain this type of performance.

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