The digital natives are taking the internet by storm. With easy and unprecedented access to the world wide web, the Gen Zs are taking over social media, putting to good use their penchant for selfies and willingness to stream every aspect of their lives.
While enough and more has been said about the ills of excessive social media use, influencers are here to stay. And brands are lapping them up.
According to the Indian Kids Digital Insights 2019 by Totally Awesome, an international children’s digital media company — 73 percent of children consuming digital content ask their parents to buy something because of a child influencer’s endorsement.
Over 80 percent of parents buy things their kids want because they were advertised by a child influencer, the study stated.
Among the hordes of YouTube stars and Instagram models is a growing crop of child and teen social media influencers, who regularly dazzle their followers with peeks into their lives, reviews, endorsements, and some overall great quality content.
Here is a look at some child and teen social media stars and influencers from India:
Anantya Anand, YouTube
Anantya Anand has nearly 4.5 million subscribers on YouTube. Her channel MyMissAnand churns out weekly videos of the 10-year-old showing her viewers bits and pieces of her life in the form of fun skits (Daily Routine – School Days vs Holidays), hairstyle tutorials, and toy reviews.
Considered the queen of Indian child YouTubers, Anantya’s first video on hairstyles uploaded five years ago has been watched nearly five million times so far.
Anantya comes from a family of YouTubers, with her aunt Shruti Arjun Anand having a hugely popular channel herself, while her mother runs a cooking channel. Such is the reach of this young girl that she regularly endorses well-known FMCG and toy brands as well as apps, etc, as these companies clamour to capture the attention of Anantya’s many million young viewers.
Every video by this successful vlogger is done in the usual YouTuber format, where Anantya promises to do a video in the future if she got, say, two lakh likes for the current one. Her videos generally get around four million views each and more than 200,000 likes on an average.
Jayas Kumar – YouTube, Instagram
Jayas Kumar has 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube and nearly 150,000 followers on Instagram. What makes the eight-year-old so immensely popular? The singing sensation’s vocal skills as well as his impeccable ability to remember the lyrics for any song has landed in him in many a stage across India.
If you weren’t impressed by his age and the extent of his talent, take this: Jayas suffers from a rare heart condition, where the organ is on the right side, and not the left. But one would never know that if you see the many videos on his YouTube channel, where the chubby boy belts out song covers, making a towering, confident presence on stage at a very young age.
Referred to as Chhote Bhagwan, after being called thus by singer-actor Himesh Reshammiya, Jayas rose to fame at the age of five, when he participated in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs in 2017. Since then, his social media accounts, monitored by his father, keep his fans abreast of the little singer’s budding career in the music industry.
Samreen Ali – TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram
Samreen Ali was made for social media. Her online accounts are a perfect testimony to her ability to turn on the camera and entertain her followers, of which there are many – 1.75 million on YouTube, over 300,000 on TikTok, and over 40,000 on Instagram.
The 15-year-old from Delhi puts out fun sketches that draw heavily from relatable experiences as an Indian. Take for example her hugely popular YouTube video, titled Types of Parlous Wali, which has nearly eight million views.
Perfectly capturing everyday life with her skits, Samreen’s influence also extends to her Instagram account, where she posts the immensely popular ‘OOTD’ pictures, showcasing what she is wearing on a particular day.
Kyra Kanojia, YouTube and Instagram
Following in the footsteps of global child YouTube stars popular for their “unboxing” videos, Kyra Kanojia, considered one of India’s youngest YouTubers, reviews the latest toys to hit the market on her YouTube channel, Kyrascope Toy Reviews.
While her subscriber count on the video platform as well as on Instagram may be relatively modest, the eight-year-old’s reach and potential cannot be underestimated. Toy reviews are always considered a lucrative way of making money online, and with little Kyra working with scores of toy brands already, it won’t be too long before she becomes an internet sensation.
Prakruti and Ayush Kalra, Youtube and Instagram
Sibling duo Ayush (Aayu) and Prakruti (Pihu) Kalra are six and 12, respectively. Their followers on YouTube are treated regularly to sketches and challenge videos. The Aayu and Piyu Show does things differently, in that it engages Hindi-speaking audience with moral stories, something that is not often seen on YouTube.
The siblings, who hail from Kota, Rajasthan are considered mini-celebrities in their hometown and their video on lying, called Ek Jhooth, has been viewed over 35 million times. The brother-sister duo is encouraged and actively helped by the parents who have invested significantly in camera and lighting equipment as well as post-production processes. And it shows.
The channel now has a 4.3 million subscriber count, and is growing rapidly.