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Alyssa McKay
Alyssa McKayPhotographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

TikTok Turns On the Money Machine

ByteDance’s hit video app is on track to triple revenue this year to $12 billion, threatening Facebook’s hold on social media.

Alyssa McKay used to work part-time at a frozen yogurt store in Portland, Oregon, making minimum wage to cover her college tuition. Now the 22-year-old earns more than $100,000 a year on the short-video platform TikTok. Brands like Coach, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video pay up to reach her 9 million followers, mostly teenage and pre-teen girls who wouldn’t dream of visiting Facebook.

“TikTok definitely 100% changed my life,” says McKay, who recently moved into her first apartment with her dog.