30 Under 30 Social Media 2024: Meet The Founders, Insiders And Internet Stars Shaping The Creator Economy

The creator economy is booming a $250 billion industry estimated to roughly double over the next five years. New creators are breaking through the noise. New startups are emerging to help them monetize, grow and sustain their businesses. And new digital experts and talent agents are steering them to success.

With the help of nominations from the public as well as expertise from Forbes tech journalists and judges from all corners of creatordom this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Media list highlights the young founders, industry leaders and online stars transforming the creator economy and future of the internet.

To be considered for this year’s list, all candidates had to be 29 or younger as of December 31, 2023, and never before named to an Under 30 list.

Candidates were evaluated by a panel of judges including Meta executive Eva Chen, Instagram’s longtime director of fashion partnerships; Under 30 alum Talia Goldberg, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners who helped launch the firm’s Creator Collaborative; Duke McKenzie, cofounder of talent company PRJT Z; and Under 30 alum Julian Shapiro-Barnum, creator of the Webby Award-winning online show “Recess Therapy.”

Among the creators on this year’s roster are Alan Chikin Chow, 27, and Steven He, 26, whose comedic films have them climbing the YouTube charts and garnering billions of views and millions of followers. YouTube named Chow, who has more than 34 million subscribers on the Google-owned video platform, as its No. 1 Shorts Creator this year.

Other Forbes honorees are finding success on TikTok: Alix Earle, 22, has attracted an audience of 6 million on the app through her “get-ready-with-me” videos that have fans flocking to buy any beauty product she features; the phenomenon has been coined the “Alix Earle Effect.” Our callout, Dylan Mulvaney, 26, is a creator, actress and activist who gained virality with her “Days of Girlhood” series that documented her transition. Meanwhile listers Molly Burke, 29, a creator who is blind, and creator Victoria Garrick Browne, 26, are taking to TikTok to advocate for mental health, too.

But behind many of these online personas are talent managers and other industry insiders who work behind the scenes to secure brand collaborations and partnership deals that help them achieve commercial success and parlay their posts into sustainable careers. Lucy Shen, 29, Patreon’s creator programs manager, helped develop the company’s Pull Up program, an incubator built to amplify creators of color, with partners including Issa Rae. And United Talent Agency’s Kirby van Erkel, 28, and Creative Artists Agency’s Sophie Wiener, 27, are talent agents who’ve repped top creators like Under 30 alum Zach King, Anna Sitar and others.

Finally, the list recognizes the entrepreneurs and startup founders building the very technologies and platforms that help creators thrive. In 2020, Harry Gestetner, 23, and Simon Pompan, 24, cofounded Fanfix, a subscription-based platform for Gen Z creators to monetize their work. The platform allows fans to subscribe to see creators’ exclusive content, pay to chat with creators and tip them for their posts. Two years in, talent agency SuperOrdinary bought the company for what Fanfix said was “tens of millions.” While Fanfix couldn’t confirm the exact number, Crunchbase reported the sale was for $65 million.

Elsewhere, cofounders Tim Lupo, 24, and Lukas Schmit, 25, are using artificial intelligence via their company Deeptune to help creators dub their videos into multiple languages so they can reach more audiences around the world. Deeptune has raised $3 million from investors including Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund and Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six. And they’re not the only ones on this year’s list with backing from Reddit cofounder Ohanian and his VC firm: July, a creator platform founded by Wells Douraghy, 24, that automates brand deals has raised $2.3 million in a funding round led by Ohanian and Seven Seven Six.

From TikTok to Twitch, this year’s 30 Under 30 Social Media list cuts across the tech industry and internet world and shows that those who become standouts online can just as much make waves offline.

Source: forbesmiddleeast

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