Five months after Vine’s launch in January 2013, Mathew Gallagher, a freshman criminal justice major, joined in the six-second video craze as OfficialMathewG.
Flash-forward to present day and Gallagher has 120,000 followers on Vine. Gallagher said the turning point for him on Vine came when he posted a video about twerking. After the video, Gallagher gained more than, 40,000 followers in one day.
“I had a bunch of people saying ‘Oh my gosh, Mathew Gallagher favorited my tweet' and things like that,” Gallagher said. “I was like, ‘Wow, people actually are starting to really catch on.’”
With fame comes fans. Gallagher has gone to 12 meet-and-greets across the United States. He has even hosted a few meet-ups of his own. With more than 5,000 fans in attendance, the biggest meet-and-greet Gallagher attended occurred in New York.
“We’re all a big, like, family, if you will,” Gallagher said of his fellow viners. “We all help each other with promotions and things like that. We’re all really close.”
Of the viner “community,” Gallagher has a couple close friends, including Grayson Dolan and Lance210.
Since Gallagher is a freshman, he has had to adjust to changes in his schedule. He has less time to produce vines while at school due to schoolwork and increased busyness.
Gallagher’s hobby of creating vines is paying off. Companies have approached him to promote their apps for money. On Vine, promoters are paid by their number of followers.
Along with Vine, Gallagher makes YouTube videos. He shares an account with his boyfriend, Zak Sheldon, who is a senior telecommunications major.
Their YouTube channel (YouTube.com/MatandZak) consists of challenges, travel vlogs and inspirational videos.
Gallagher calls it “an all-around channel.”
While Sheldon creates YouTube videos, he is not as avid of a viner.
“[Mat’s] vines take a lot of creativity because he has to fit it into six seconds,” Sheldon said. “Whereas a YouTube video takes more of a production effort.”
The pair puts more planning and editing into their YouTube videos.
“With Vine, I don’t edit my videos,” Gallagher said. “I just hold my thumb down on it. With YouTube, it could take us months depending on which video we’re doing.”
Gallagher and Sheldon recently signed with Omnia Media, a company that helps the two manage their YouTube channel. The partnership will help improve the MatandZak brand.
With Omnia Media, Gallagher and Sheldon will create a logo for their channel. The two already sell bracelets with their brand name on them. They hope to expand to t-shirts and other merchandise.
Gallagher and Sheldon end their videos by putting a peace sign over their eyes.
Sheldon said they have “taken over the fierce sign.”