You’re not imagining it: Influencers really are multiplying.
There are the Dolan Twins, a pair of square-jawed 19-year-olds who have amassed more than 10 million subscribers on YouTube and millions more on Instagram. They are joined by the Merrell Twins, the Rybka Twins, Niki and Gabi DeMartino, and Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight—massive YouTube stars, all. At this point, every up-and-coming YouTube star seems to have a body double, and every category of influencer has its own set of famous twins: twins who show off makeup techniques, twins who create exercise videos, twins who review toys. The popular YouTuber Jake Paul just welcomed a new set of twins, the Caci Twins, into Team 10, his YouTuber collective; they replaced the Martinez Twins and the Dobre Twins, who both left in 2017. Twin content is inescapable.
Last month, at the annual online-video convention Vidcon, an entire panel was devoted to teaching attendees how to create twin-related content; in the audience, rows and rows of young twins sat like Noah’s animals, all hoping to learn how to get their names in the spotlight. “We started a year or two ago. When we started it wasn’t as much of a thing,” says Jayda Johnston, a 15-year-old who attended the event with her twin sister, Jayna. Together they form the Johnston Twins and have more than 635,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Twins—and our fascination with them—are, of course, not new. Certain religions worship twins. Scientists study them. The actors Tia and Tamera Mowry and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen co-starred in various TV and film projects in the ’90s and early 2000s, and more recently, Dylan and Cole Sprouse anchored Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. But nowhere do twins dominate more than on the contemporary internet.