Published: 09:29, 14 January 2020
| Updated: 09:40, 16 January 2020
A teen social media star who began making videos on the TikTok app just four months ago says it has changed his life.
Ronnie Warwick, from Rochester, was doing so well, he left college to pursue making his videos full time.
The 16-year-old’s success has seen him make personal appearances at events across the country and even rub shoulders with pop stars.
Since August, he has gained more than 290,000 followers, a number which is growing every day.
He said: “It’s quite a shock. I’m not entirely sure how I grew so quickly and I have not really discovered my method to it.”
Ronnie describes his videos as “relatable British comedy” and had been studying at MidKent College, where he completed a media qualification before leaving to try to gain success on the app.
TikTok allows users to make short videos of up to 60 seconds long, often of them singing, lip-syncing, dancing or just telling jokes, and share it with others.
He added: “This seems to be bringing me a lot more opportunities. I have met music artists like Ella Henderson and Jax Jones to promote their music.
“I have companies coming to me asking if I want to start my own merchandise line.”
When visiting an event for other influencers in Birmingham in November, Ronnie was so popular with fans that security staff had to cordon off an area for people to queue to meet him.
He often joins friends he has made on the app to collaborate on videos and he does live streams every night where he chats with his fans.
One of the friends he has met is Connor Robinson, who has 318,000 followers. He also does comedy videos.
He said: “I am probably closer to them than some people I have known for longer periods in my life.
“TikTok has changed my life dramatically, without it I’m not too sure what I’d be doing.
“I’ve gained some of my best friends through TikTok, Connor Robinson being one, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
“It’s amazing to have such a close community of people who have so much in common, especially when there’s that other group of people that take the mick out of you for doing TikTok in the first place.”
His grandmother Janice Hill supports Ronnie all the way and even has her own TikTok page with more than 12,000 followers.
The 61-year-old, who lives with Ronnie in St Margaret’s Street, Rochester, said: “We were on holiday in the New Forest and he started doing these videos and he set me up on it.
“I said to him, ‘You’re 16, this is the new world, enjoy it and go for it’.
“I think it’s going to create a lot of confidence for him. It’s building confidence, it’s networking and it’s hard work.
“He has to have a lot of time management and it’s teaching him how to live in the real world.”
More by this authorKatie May Nelson