By Sara Katherine Johnson
Two years ago, a high school student started a Vine account because a fashion blogger she liked tweeted about it. Now, Austin freshman Cathlyn Jones has more than 242,000 followers on her Vine account.
When she first began, Jones said she did not tell anyone she made an account. People from her high school found her username through Twitter and followed her.
“I was stressed,” Jones said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, all these people are going to think I’m so weird.’ I contemplated deleting it.”
Because people from her school followed her, she steadily gained more attention. Next, kids from other schools in the Austin also area started following her. She made it to Vine’s popular page, and that is when it exploded, Jones said.
“I love it,” Jones said. “It’s a great conversation to have with people; It’s fun meeting people.”
Jones said she did it for herself at first. Now she does it for both her followers and her job.
Since March, she has been working for a company called Instafluence. Clients go through Instafluence to set up campaigns for their companies. Instafluence will talk to viners or other people with social media influence. Then it is their job to set up a video or advertisement for the client, Jones said.
One example of those relationships is when Jones met fellow vine celebrity Jerome Jarre, who has more than 7 million followers. Jones said he reached out to her when she was in New York. He Twitter messaged her and asked to meet up and make videos together, Jones said.
Not all experiences are positive, Jones said. At times Jones has received negative responses to her videos or tweets. Online, Jones responds with humor.
“I tend to not worry about negativity, because there’s negativity everywhere,” Jones said. “I try have a good attitude and remain confident in who I am and what I post.”
Jones said her family is supportive. Austin senior Carly Jones is her older sister.
“It’s actually really funny because I just see her as my little sister,” Carly said. “But when we go places together, people will always stop her and take pictures with her and whatnot.”
Carly said it makes her feel like she is famous just because they are related. A lot of times, people think they are twins or ask questions about their lives, she said.
“I actually like being in her videos just to see what the people will say,” Carly said.
Although apparel merchandising is her major, Jones said she is keeping her options open.
“It’d be a dream to be on SNL [Saturday Night Live],” Jones said. “But that’s kind of a far-fetched dream. I also thought about going into voice animation.”
Until then, Jones can be found on the football field where she follows in her sister’s footsteps of being a lead singer. Jones can also be found on Twitter as @cathlynjones and under her own name on Vine.