This week, The Atlantic profiled 17-year-old Xavier Di Petta and 19-year-old Kyle Cameron, the founders of numerous viral social media accounts; wouldn’t ya know it, there are such a thing as marketing prodigies.
Di Petta, who lives in a small town in Australia, runs his own business incubator, Swift Fox Labs, and pulls in about $44,000/month through various media ventures. He met Cameron — who lives in Hawaii — on YouTube four years ago, and the two have literally built a viral media mini-empire from scratch.
Their greatest hits include:
-A Facebook page called “Long romantic walks to the fridge,” which pulled in over 10 million likes.
-The Twitter account @EarthPix, which tweets pictures of nature and animals about once an hour and has over 946,000 followers.
–Fitspiration, a fitness app that was the #1 most downloaded ‘Health and Fitness’ app in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, and #7 in the U.S.
–@HistoryInPics, the primary basis for The Atlantic’s article, which boasts 930,000 followers and whose average dispatch gets retweeted 1,600+ times and favorited 1,800+ times.
The duo are also “in the process of selling” a group of comedy twitter accounts, and have previously sold off Facebook pages and YouTube accounts. According to a 2012 profile of Di Petta, he has already consulted for NBC and other major brands about social media marketing; once @EarthPix and @HistoryInPics reach over a million followers, Swift Fox Labs will create an autonomous website to monetize the trends.
Their creation process is remarkably similar to BuzzFeed’s, but without the hardcore analytics — Di Petta tells The Atlantic that Swift Fox Labs will identify or try to create web trends, use existing social media accounts to cross-promote new accounts, and generally see numbers rise organically after pulling 50,000 – 100,000 followers.
Although there have been some rumblings across the Twitterverse that @HistoryInPics unfairly uses copyrighted images, Di Petta reasons that, “Whether we use images X or Y, there will be traffic to the site.”
Spoken like a true media mogul.