From Addison Rae to Hyram, TikTok stars head to short video app Flip

On July 27, Addison Rae gave a one-minute mobile video tutorial of an Item Beauty lash primer. But this wasn’t for her 88.5 million followers on TikTok, nor was it a Reels video for her 40.1 million Instagram followers. Instead, she’s one of the latest major influencers to join Flip. 

A beauty social commerce app that launched in 2021 and just secured $60 million in Series B funding, Flip has seen an influx of major beauty influencers join everyday beauty enthusiasts on the platform in the past month. Following Rae, Hyram Yarbro and Sommer Ray posted their first Flip videos on July 29. They join Patrick Starrr, Patrick Ta, Shayla Mitchell and Angel Merino, who have been posting on Flip since last December, and Ariel Tejada, who joined four months ago.

“When it comes to celebrities, the most important thing is that we get people who want to talk about things that they put their name and brand behind,” said Flip founder and CEO Noor Agha. He emphasized that “exclusivity is not a strategy” for Flip — “not today, not ever.”

Since all user videos are reviews are of items purchased through the platform, Flip created a separate “founder” category to allow brand founders to promote their own products. Many of the mega influencers on the platform so far fall under the founder category, promoting their own brands. Agha estimated that, in total, 30-40 founders are currently active on the app. Flip’s user numbers have not been released, but it has seen 500% user growth and 600% transaction growth so far this year.

The influencers joined the app after talks between Flip and their managers and agents, but they’re not being paid to join or post, said Flip CEO of international and president of partnerships Peter Wingsoe. Any individual who posts a video on the platform is automatically monetized, earning a commission on views and the items sold based on their reviews.

In addition to creating short videos on the platform, all influencers will be doing livestreams on Flip this month and in September. While some platforms like Facebook are scaling back their livestream shopping features, Agha said livestreaming is “a core feature in our product.”

More big-name founders should be appearing on the platform soon, the Flip team said.

“This is only the beginning of a string of big celebrities that we’re hoping to onboard over the next three to four months,” said Wingsoe. While he declined to share names, celebrities and influencers have been affiliated with the app in other ways: About-Face founder Halsey was the official host of Flip’s launch party in L.A. last December.

To date, the influencers’ followings on the platform are still small. Tejada has about 1,800 followers, Rae has 322 followers and a video with 45,000 views, while Yarbro has 496 followers and nearly 48,000 views on his first video. Some are leveraging their massive followings elsewhere to drive to Flip. Patrick Ta and Patrick Starr have shared their Flip reviews to other platforms. But Agha emphasized that Flip is focusing mainly on user growth through personal sharing rather than influencers. 

“The majority of our users are coming through others who are posting and are inviting their friends. We do not really have an influencer strategy,” said Agha.

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