It all started with a DIY lighting set-up. Noah Beck — the 20-year-old Arizona-born TikTok star with nearly 30 million followers — made his first videos for the social media platform by improvising late at night in his bedroom. This was about a year and a half ago, while he was home on holiday break from the University of Portland, in Oregon, where he was both studying business and playing soccer.
Fast-forward through the onset and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic — the hyper-boost of downtime gave TikTok’s “creators,” as the app’s users are known, a captive audience — and Beck is now one of the most famous people on the platform.
In January, Beck was invited to watch the virtual Louis Vuitton fall 2021 menswear show as a VIP guest. Credit: Vinny Mui/Louis Vuitton
His ascent is marked by popular content trends that proliferate across the TikTok digiverse; videos of short dances, lip-syncs and largely unfiltered moments from the creator’s life. This is part of TikTok’s allure: Unlike those who came up as influencers on Instagram, the world a TikTok creator presents does not have to be polished and perfect. In fact, it’s better if it’s not.
But exactly why Beck went ultra-viral is hard to pinpoint, and he’s the first to…