Friday, December 4, 2020

Hype Simulator, an app that lets you simulate being extremely famous on social media, is the number one free app in the iOS store


Opening the app, you’re confronted with Andy Warhol’s famous quote: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.” The next screen prompts users to input a username, and to select from what it’s like to be a celebrity, or going viral. You can input profile details such as your first name, last name and a short bio, and upload a profile picture, then you press the button “Start your fame”.

My account – which looks eerily like the TikTok interface – started off with a handful of followers. Quickly, that ballooned to 15,000, and then to 29,200. At the same time, notifications rolled down from the top of the screen from strangers, asking for shoutouts, money and tips to become successful. Delve into your messages and respond to one that says “Can you respond back to me” and the reply comes: “I cant even”. Reply again and you get another manic response: “okay, deep breaths …”

Press the live button to start a stream and suddenly the number of viewers ticks past 1,000, and users plead to be noticed. Close down the app and the notifications continue: within minutes, iOS notifications clog up your actual phone screen, telling you you’ve passed 100,000 followers and have earned verification on the app.

When your 15 minutes are up, the app ends – though if you’re after another dopamine hit and some validation, you can press “Restart”