Vine followers: 7.2M
Nash Grier, the world’s most popular star on Vine, has no special talents. He doesn’t sing or skate or dance or paint. He doesn’t play bass guitar, or compete at motocross, or perform feats of parkour. He doesn’t have rich parents or a hit record.
Nash makes funny videos, or at least the teenagers watching them find them funny. Many of his most esteemed clips feature his 4-year-old sister, Skylynn, in varying states of minstrelsy: repeating rap lyrics or flipping an imaginary weave. Other Vines include jokes about gender roles (“How guys fart vs. how girls fart”), Jesus Christ, and celebrities. He has Disney Channel good looks and eyes the color of blue Gatorade, a topic of persistent fascination to his fangirls, who flood his comment section with thousands of notes of encouragement containing hundreds of thousands of heart emojis. Within three weeks of joining Vine, Nash hit 100,000 followers. “My dad of course was like, ‘This is your 15 minutes of fame, blah, blah, blah,’ ” he says, “but I was so excited, I had never been so happy in my life.”
Upbeatness is part of his brand. As a pro tip, he recommends: “Be happy. Don’t make a Vine about, like, something not that happy.” Nash, who is from North Carolina, is a God-fearing Christian who frequently consults his iPhone’s Bible app while on the road. “I don’t use cuss words, I try not to do anything awful. You don’t want to lower your audience,” he says. He shares that Jesus-camp vibe with dozens of other social-media luminaries. A recent Nash video bore the caption “Y’all twerk more than you pray these days #HolyBible #GasPedal.”
Nash’s most effective videos trade on his ultra-authentic real-boy vibe, often dramatizing the disjuncture between the high-rolling lifestyles of pop celebrity with his own pedestrian high-school existence. Recurring schticks are pretending to steal someone's girlfriend, or pranking his friends. His Vines are masterful stunts of calibration—not too hot, not too cold; not too serious, not too goofy. They imagine a world where alienation does not exist; seeing one is equivalent to taking an anti-anxiety pill. On a video titled “That feeling after you brush your teeth … #shinyteeth #whoremembersthis #fairlyoddparents ,” a commenter weighed in, months and months after it had been uploaded. “Never gets old!!! This is probably the best vine i have ever seen in my life!!!!!”