FourFront turns TikTok into TV
The Future. Social startup FourFront, which develops long-form stories via ongoing posts on TikTok, is drawing audiences into an ongoing drama. The company is experimenting with different platforms and even a live social aspect, which may create a future in which bite-sized storytelling looks indistinguishable from the drama of your friends.
Friends with Narratives
What if a show played across multiple TikToks, a Clubhouse room, and a Discord server?
- A content studio called FourFront crafts stories on TikTok that look and feel like regular posts.
- The company currently has eight different stories in rotation (which the audience knows is fictional through hashtags and other prompts).
- They’re centered around aspirational characters, skew Gen Z, and are typically comedies, romances, or coming-of-age.
- The company also uses machine learning to allow the characters to chat with their audience.
Is there an audience for this? Well, FourFront has quietly amassed 1.9 million followers and 281 million views across all of its stories. When its first story character, Paige, opened up her chat, 92% of the audience interacted with her.
FourFront CEO Ilan Benjamin says that the company is still in the experimentation phase. It tests new characters with a pilot order of 20 TikToks to see if audiences engage with their narrative. It also tests a multi-platform story approach, moving back and forth among Discord, Clubhouse, and even Zoom (one live show saw 13,000 sign-ups).
The popularity of that live show spurred the company to explore the possibility of launching its own dedicated live platform that could also be licensed to third parties. Benjamin compares the possibility to what Epic Games has done with Fortnite through Unreal, saying, “we believe we can do something very similar with a very sophisticated AI that is optimized for entertainment value.”