Pop, pop, pop, balloon, ice cream! If you’re active on TikTok and Twitter, you’ve probably scrolled past quite a few NPC live streams these past few days. Whether they’re holding a straightening iron with a popcorn kernel in it or imitating an idle animation in a parking lot, NPC live-stream creators are the hottest new trend on TikTok.
What are NPCs?
NPC, short for non playable characters, are essentially the non-controllable background characters in video games that are programmed to behave within a certain set of constraints and facilitate the main character’s storyline. They are given the same few lines, animations, and interactions, making them highly predictable.
Over the years, the term has been used in a multitude of ways, now being integrated into everyday lingo. NPC behavior is often frowned upon in our real world as it is used to refer to someone with no opinions or thoughts of their own who has no real sense of individual identity.
On social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, the topic of NPCs have often been used during comedy videos, GRWMs, or vlogs, where content creators will either imitate or tell a story-time about someone who has the mannerisms of an NPC. However, it seems as though the term is now used much more positively in light of recent trends. The most recent creator to reach the viral status is TikTok live streamer PinkyDoll.
What Are NPCs on TikTok?
A viral trend has emerged on TikTok where content creators will imitate NPCs, using robot-like voices and repeating the same few actions in response to viewer comments and gifts. Many credit Pinkydoll, a 19 year old TikToker, for bringing this niche into the limelight. With her enthusiastic attitude, cheery voice, and fluid movements, she’s been deemed one of the first ‘NPC influencers’, and is taking over the for you page. She currently has over 463K followers on the app and goes live everyday to thousands of viewers.
The virality of this tweet has soared the trend into the “Gone-Viral” sector, bringing in 49.5 million views on the tweet below in the past week.
😕 i’ve never been more confused in my entire life dawg…… pic.twitter.com/Y43gcySN1k
— God’s Child (@marlolifts) July 12, 2023
With iconic catchphrases like “ice cream so good” and “gang gang grahhh”, Pinkydoll has become one of the most referenced and recognizable names on the Internet lately. Her popularization of the NPC influencer niche has many questioning what the appeal is behind this particular trend. Controversy has sparked over whether or not this is considered content creation at all, with some believing that this is a showcase of a lack of originality rather than an innovative new niche.
It’s not just viewers that have been talking about this trend. On the content creator side, this seems like a relatively easy gig. Going live and reacting to viewers has been part of the influencer experience for a while now, but NPC streaming has allowed creators to plan out content that is supposed to be live. Rather than having to improvise, influencers can create a pre-planned set of reactions and catchphrases to common comments and gift types and just use those for the entire duration of the stream.
To captivate audiences even more, content creators are niching down even further by roleplaying as popular characters, such as Miles Morales from Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse, during their NPC streams, using the character’s personality traits as the outline for their NPC reactions, commentary, and poses.
Even Internet superstars like Trisha Paytas have jumped onto the bandwagon, starting their own NPC livestreams to engage with their pre-established community of viewers, and hopefully incentivize the joining of new ones. Trisha Paytas is the latest content creator to join the current trend of “NPC” live-streaming on TikTok. pic.twitter.com/WWaroBGnrY
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 18, 2023
How Much is PinkyDoll Making Per Live Stream?
This influx of NPC influencers is not surprising as NPC streaming is highly profitable for creators. Pinkydoll has said that she’s made anywhere from $2,000 – $3,000 a stream on her TikTok account. With the majority of her audience interaction being derived from TikTok gifts, that number isn’t shocking at all.
On the TikTok app, viewers have the ability to purchase coins for roughly $.01 per coin. These coins are exchangeable for emotes (live emoji-like images or gifs that appear on the screen when a viewer sends one to the live stream creator). The still images like a balloon cost 1 coin, where as others such as the live filter and effects that take over the entire live-streamer’s screen can cost up to 40,000 coins ($400 USD)
Various creators are making over $2,000+ per ‘NPC’ live stream. This trend is unlocking a new form of monetization for creators and streamers across the TikTok platform. Twitter has also rumored to be testing a new coin-like system as well.
At the moment, PinkyDoll is live on TikTok with over 45,000 unique viewers. Every single time we are viewing her live there is an influx in emojis taking over the screen as viewers are sending her coins through TikTok live.
Ice Cream So Good Gang Gang girl is making over $4,000 an hour off TikTok digital collectibles
You laugh, but she’s making more in an hour than most make in a month
Good news, a major leak just happened. Digital collectibles are coming to Twitter
Here’s what you need to know:… pic.twitter.com/PEKfiiEDje
— NFT God (@NFT_GOD) July 18, 2023
The Rise of TikTok Live-Streaming
So why is NPC streaming so popular nowadays? How is it that almost every NPC streamer goes viral? Even Micro-Influencers have been able to monetize heavily off of NPC livestreams. Many accounts with only a few thousand followers have attracted hundreds and thousands of viewers to their streams. Here’s the key: personal engagement.
One thing that you’ll notice amongst all the NPC livestreams is that personal engagement is the number one priority for the streamer. Whenever a viewer gifts an item, the streamer will almost always react with a pre-established response. For example, Pinkydoll consistently responds to balloons sent by viewers by pretending to pop them in front of her and making popping noises with her mouth.
This level of predictability allows viewers to know exactly what to do to get the specific reaction that they want, allowing for high levels of engagement and personalization. The nature of an NPC is to better the experience for the main character, and these livestreams are able to emulate that same feeling in real-time for the viewers.
By giving the viewer the ability to essentially be in control of the streamer, the viewer feels a level of connection that they haven’t felt before with a content creator. Despite them only watching from a screen, they are still able to interact with the streamer in real-time and feel as though they aren’t just a number in the viewer count. Additionally, each streamer has a different set of NPC actions, and fans of the niche are constantly on the lookout for new reactions that they haven’t seen before, and are willing to fork up the money for the satisfaction of seeing it.
The Future of NPC Streaming
With all of this being so new, there’s no telling what the future will hold for the NPC streaming industry. We predict that there will be many more roleplaying streams in the coming days, with streamers taking on the roles of popular movie, TV show, and video game characters to further capitalize off of pre-established fanbases.
As NPC live streaming continues to develop, we’ll be staying on top of it all here at Glewee, the all-in-one influencer marketing platform. Staying in the know and being aware of top talent is critical in the industry of influencer marketing, and with Glewee’s pre-vetted community of content creators, there’s no better platform to be on for brands wanting to better their social media marketing. Like NPC streaming, Glewee is a great way to effectively monetize your content creation. For content creators looking to transition to full time, Glewee is an easy-to-use tool to help you start making money from your content. Chat with us to learn more!