With over 500 million likes and over 11 million followers, Bailey Spinn is without a doubt TikTok Royalty. The comedic content creator seems to produce viral video after viral video, both skits and of the rising “POV” variety, capitalizing on the vast potential of this world-wide social media phenomenon.
Her undeniable creativeness has garnered her a veritable army of followers across multiple platforms, giving her a reach of 445 million views on TikTok. Over 1 million YouTube subscribers, and an Instagram with over 332k followers. It seems nothing can slow down her meteoric rise and her huge influence.
A staunch anti-bullying advocate, Spinn works hard to ensure that her platform is a safe space for anyone in need. She has also collaborated with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) in an effort to further their mission.
We didn’t skip a beat to throw some questions her way, and we’ve come out of this interview very convinced that if anyone has any idea what the future of TikTok and internet content creation at large is, she is that person. Check it out:
To someone who’s never seen them, how would you explain what a POV video is?
A POV, which stands for point-of-view, is typically a 30-60 second video depicting a scenario starring the video creator. All parts within the video are played by me, including parents, teachers, side characters, and more. The video only shows my perspective, as if the viewer is watching me go through all the scenes in real-time as if they were me. A POV can be based upon almost anything: love and romance, completing challenges, or even having special powers. The limits of these videos are endless and can be seen as a form of improvisation as well as acting. I create all of my videos unscripted on the spot so the content you are seeing on my page is almost always something fresh out of my imagination. Throughout the POV, the character goes through various everyday circumstances that may be a little over-exaggerated, but the text presented on the video helps the viewer to understand the concept.
- Mark POV pt.6 with over 39 million views and over 4 million likes
- Words POV pt.2 with over 40 million views and over 5 million likes
- Words POV pt. 1 with over 30 million views and over 4 million likes
With millions of views and likes under your videos, one can easily say that there’s a lot of personal charisma and talent at play, but there’s also an element about the format itself that draws the viewers in. Why do you think people respond so well to that type of content? Is it relatability?
I would say most people respond well to my content because of the humor and depth of the plots I create. Every time I start a new series, I create a hook to draw the viewers in within the first 10 seconds, which makes them want to continue watching. POVs started becoming increasingly popular in 2021 and that form of content has been adapting ever since. Initially, no one spoke in the videos, you would just lip-sync what you wanted to say over music. Once the speaking factor was added, the popularity soared. People love to watch POVs in their free time as an escape from reality—you get to transcend into a whole different world. This kind of content is addicting to watch, essentially because you are getting a free movie on the platform. I have had series that were over 30 parts long, almost reaching the length of a typical TV show’s episode. It’s hard to stop watching once you’ve started. I love to end my videos on cliffhangers to keep everyone wondering what’s going to happen next. Relatability is definitely part of the popularity as well. The scenes I depict are usually ones that resonate with my audience such as school drama or relationships.
You arrived on the TikTok Scene after the platform had been well established and the POV format had already taken off. What was your thought going in? Did you feel like you could improve upon the formula? Were you looking to leave your own mark or was it all just a happy coincidence for you?
I was actually one of the first people on the platform to start consistently posting POV videos every single day. Back in 2020, there were only a handful of creators that were making the same type of content as me. I would watch their videos and take inspiration from them which led me to create my own. I’m a little bit competitive which made me believe that if they could blow up from those videos, so could I. I wanted to make my POVS as entertaining and drama-filled as possible because at the time, not everyone was doing that. The videos were much more serious, and my content veered more into a fantasy world with unreal circumstances. My original popularity on the platform was a happy accident. I was stuck in quarantine with nothing to do, so I kept posting videos to fill up some of my free time. I never expected my account to take off so quickly. When I was first making them I grew over 100,000 followers in just three days. However, I knew that eventually I would need to step up the content game because POV popularity started to decrease in 2021. It was the same thing over and over again, with no speaking. One day I saw one of my mutual friends on the app post a POV, but she was using her voice and acting out the other characters. I saw this as my chance. I have to credit her with being the first person to do it, but I knew this was my opportunity to expand my content like I had been wanting to. The videos of me speaking is what made my account skyrocket following this summer. I don’t see this as an accident, but as my hard work finally making it a reality.
Do you have any thoughts on why the platform has been so successful, especially with younger audiences?
I believe one of the main reasons the short-form videos have become so popular is because the app is basically addicting. The algorithm picks out exactly what videos you enjoy watching and creates a “for you” page with never-ending content. It’s hard to stop scrolling once you’ve started, and the short-form videos make it easy to keep going and going for hours on end. It’s also one of the easiest ways to connect with the creators you love; we all get real-time alerts of who’s interacting with our content. You can leave a comment on your favorite creator’s post and they can go see it within minutes. The app has become a way for some people to escape reality. You can hold your phone in the palm of your hand and watch other people and their great content, one after the other. Watching videos is also an easy way to find out what you’re interested in whether it be fashion, music, gaming, or anything else your heart desires—it’s all on the app.
Every creative has heroes and people who inspire them, even if they’re trailblazing fairly new, uncharted ground. Who would you say has influenced your humor and creative approach?
I always credit my mom for my humor, she is definitely the funniest person I have ever met. When I was younger, she would never fail to make me laugh, coming up with funny songs throughout the day or cracking silly jokes. She’s a little bit sarcastic which influenced me to be the same way. I can say truthfully, she is still one of the most hilarious people on the earth, and I always tell her she should’ve been a stand-up comedian. However, my creativity has come directly from my passion for music. A lot of my video ideas come from me sitting down and listening for keywords in songs. I spend a lot of my time listening to music throughout the day and it inspires me. I listen to pretty much every genre. I pause and really think about the lyrics to try and derive a video idea from it. For example, one of my most popular POV series was about the number of times your soulmate has smiled, and that idea came directly from the song “Shower” by Becky G. Music is something I incorporate into my everyday life as it really keeps my mind awake and ready for the next idea.
Have you had experience in some form of acting before jumping in on TikTok?
I had never had any acting experience before; however, I was extremely obsessed with musical theatre. I wasn’t actually in the theatre department at my school, but I was always a huge Broadway fanatic. I saw multiple Broadway shows in New York City with my dad and, every single time, I was amazed by the ability of everyone on the stage. It was the music and songs that captivated me though. I probably know the entire soundtrack of five Broadway musicals, and some of that memorization helps me create my videos today. I never saw myself becoming an actor, but now that I’m older, I realize I might really have the ability to be a great actor with a little bit of persistence.
Aside from that, how would you like to grow or diversify your career and skill set?
I really want to start focusing on some of my passions outside of creating POVs because I have so many aspirations that the internet never really sees. One thing I would love to do more of is sing on my platform. I’ve always been able to sing, but because I’m such an anxious person, I’ve rarely had the confidence to post a video of me singing publicly. I see myself creating my own music and inspiring other people to take action on their childhood dreams. Nothing is out of reach in my mind, but I have to start switching up my content to showcase my true abilities better. I’ve also been taking vocal lessons for the past few months which has improved my singing voice tremendously. Alongside the vocal lessons, I’ve also been learning the electric guitar to broaden my skillset. My end goal is to be a well-known vocal artist and hopefully star in a film that shows off both my acting and singing skills!
Who is Bailey Spinn outside of her skits? What are your hobbies, passions, and aspirations in life?
I have so many hobbies that the internet never sees, one of which is fashion. Ever since I was a kid I have been obsessed with clothing, begging my mom almost every week to let me buy new clothes. My closet is overflowing with clothing at this point and my shoe collection has grown to over 50 pairs. Nothing beats the excitement of putting on an outfit that makes me feel beautiful and confident. Clothing is one of the biggest ways I express myself, other than my purple hair because you can show so much of your personality through fashion choices.
Another thing I love to do in my free time is working out. I was an extremely competitive swimmer from ages 5 to 18. I’ve always been athletic and love to escape reality for a while at the gym, whether it be weightlifting or cardio. I love working on my health and the endorphins you get after working out are unmatched for me—nothing makes me feel as great! As I said earlier, I’ve been working on the electric guitar. It’s super exciting for me since I recently became obsessed with rock music. Music is one of my biggest passions. When I was younger I played the viola, flute, trombone, and ukulele. Guitarists just always look so cool and I wanted to be able to rock out just like them. I aspire to better myself and my skillset every day, so I’m always trying new things that will help me toward my final goal of being a rockstar!
Tell us a little bit about what led you to become such a strong Anti-Bullying advocate.
My high school experience was not great to say the absolute least. I remember being picked on left and right, it was like I could not catch a break. I was made fun of for having acne, being overweight, being “annoying”, and so many other things I didn’t have control over. Kids can be excruciatingly mean, not thinking about the consequences of their actions. So many people would spread rumors about me that were so far from the truth I didn’t even know how to defend myself. At one point I had an ex-boyfriend tell the population of two schools that I was doing drugs, something that I had never done before. I was only 15 and these things started to get to me. I wish I could say it ended up getting better, but it didn’t. The main reason I’m an anti-bullying advocate now is because of what happened my senior year—it was just unfathomable. I was minding my business in a bathroom stall when I saw a piece of paper on the door that had my name written on it with hurtful things notes around it and an arrow pointing towards my name. I thought this was strange and took the paper down, but that was not the end of the story. The remarks in the bathroom started to get worse and more permanent. Someone had been taking out a Sharpie while using the bathroom and wrote on the walls, the toilet paper holder, and the trash cans. They continuously wrote out my name and then left off with “KYS.” This kept happening on multiple different occasions for months and my school never did anything about it. That was the lowest my mental health had ever been; knowing that someone just wanted me to die really started to hurt me. I never want anyone else to feel the same way I did that year, overwhelmed with sadness, asking why you aren’t enough. I want everyone to know that they are enough, and the effects of bullying someone may not be apparent at the time, but behind the scenes, you are ruining someone’s mental health. I want to encourage everyone to stand up for themselves and speak out to ask for help if they need it because I really wish I had at that time.
Story: Samuel Aponte Photographer: Dylan Lujano @dylanlujano Hair: Kyle Hennessy @kylehennessyhair Makeup: Anton Khachaturian @antonmakeup Stylist: Mariposa @mariposabih
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