Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Halle Burns is a 19-year-old content creator who loves cooking, thrifting, and filming videos for her Youtube and TikTok - with her loyal following of almost 2 million tuning in to every upload.
Halle is one of those social media content-creators that feels like your best friend after a couple of videos. Her approachable, laidback vlogging style and calming on-screen presence are what allowed her online following to skyrocket in just a few months- notably on TikTok, where she gained traction for her short and simple plant-based snack recipes.
Growing Up On the Internet
Throughout her adolescence, Halle enjoyed consuming and producing content for several of the classic platforms of our youth. Like many of us, she grew up in the era of Youtube beauty gurus and alongside the creation of apps like Instagram and Vine.
She even made versions of her own makeup tutorials as a kid (don't bother looking for them - according to her, they've been set to private). However, this was always just for fun. Halle never aspired to be a social media star in her youth - she was just dabbling in what was available to her.
Now, as a college student focusing on communications and film, Halle is able to gain formal education that she has utilized to refine her content and improve her on-camera presence.
"Communications is a lot of research-based writing and speaking skills. It's helped me in being less scared when speaking to large audiences, which has been something I needed to learn, especially doing TikTok commentary - like what matters, what doesn't, and how to get your message across."
Furthermore, her film classes have taught her a variety of technical knowledge, such as what makes a good shot or how to properly execute a scene transition. Halle's course material ties in perfectly with her content creation, something that undeniably benefits her overall quality of production.
Rise to Recognition on TikTok
Despite being created back in 2016, TikTok grew to mainstream audiences in 2019, reaching a new height in popularity during the early onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. Just like many others, Halle's channel began as a quarantine project - a casual hobby to pass the time.
In fact, Halle's earliest videos were mostly silly spoofs of cooking videos. However, she quickly realized that there was an audience for vegan cooking on TikTok - after all, people were interested in her recipes.
"I actually started to create my own food versus finding a 2-ingredient recipe on Pinterest. I think that's the amazing part about TikTok as a platform - all that you really need are original ideas."
In fact, Halle initially created her TikTok a few months into her transition to veganism, and credits making her recipe videos for helping her learn how to cook recipes that everyone would want to eat that were also plant-based.
"TikTok taught me so much about something I was already interested in, so it was easy to want to do it all the time."
Halle's growth happened very quickly on the app, with her current following amassing 1.9 million people. However, TikTok's overall reach goes much further than that - all her videos combined have received 71 million likes and a much higher amount of views.
"There is excitement in getting views. When people are interested in your videos, you want to do it more. I think the biggest driver is feedback. I thrive off of seeing what people do like - and also what people don't like."
The summer of 2020 is when Halle realized that she had the potential to truly grow as a creator on TikTok. She recalls a trip where she stayed in an apartment with a nice kitchen, and using just a ring-light and some snacks, she uploaded two videos that both performed very well.
Such massive amounts of feedback were not something she was used to, and Halle explains she was shocked and even a little nervous to have garnered so much attention. The next day, on a quick smoothie run, she was recognized by a viewer - something that had never happened to her before.
Now, Halle gets recognized often - what she expresses to be a surprising amount. Her reach on TikTok has allowed her to grow in other spheres of social media, demonstrating the potential that one has to launch a career on the app.
Adjusting to Life With an Audience
Halle definitely has a sizable fanbase, and her viewers often praise her calm demeanor, soothing voice, and overall wholesome charm in her comment sections. However, her internet persona can only reveal so much about the complexities of her true personality.
"It's funny that you can give off that perception in a 40-second video. Your whole persona can be judged based on your attitude and maybe your music choice."
With such a large follower count, it can be difficult to conceptualize the number of people observing you. Social media figures have their lives, including their mistakes, broadcasted to an audience ready and willing to offer opinions and criticisms.
While one may never fully get used to such a situation, Halle explains that just talking to the camera, being herself, and hoping people will relate to that has been successful so far. Especially as a lifestyle vlogger, she recognizes that there is an idealized form of content within her niche and that striving too hard to achieve it can come across as inauthentic.
One important element of Halle's appeal to her audience is her relatability, especially as a young college student. However, the constraints of fitting into a persona can be limiting. As a result, Halle makes an effort to be present in the moment before pulling out the camera, as well as filming videos because she wants to, rather than to please an audience.
"Something that I've really liked about this summer is that, because I'm not in school all the time, I feel like I don't have to talk about being a student. You can make that a character trait. I didn't want that to be me all the time, and I like knowing that it doesn't have to be."
A very large audience, especially one composed of mostly young people, creates pressure on social media creators to present a PG-version of themselves for marketability. However, it's impossible to please everybody.
"There's a fear of upsetting people if I'm not hyper-nice all the time, but at the same time, I don't think I would like myself if I were. I think that makes you less relatable, and also makes me feel disassociated if I act happy-go-lucky all the time when I'm not."
At the end of the day, it's usually easy for an audience to sense when a creator is putting on an act. Authenticity manifests differently for everyone, and for Halle, it includes embracing every facet of herself instead of changing to better fit a persona.
Expanding on Social Media and Beyond
Halle has undeniably made a name for herself as a creator on TikTok. However, she has expanded beyond making only short-form content by regularly posting vlogs on her Youtube channel. This platform, where she has amassed over 224 thousand subscribers, allows her viewers to gain a more intimate perspective on her life and interests.
Halle has boundless potential to continue growing her social media presence and developing her content creation. However, with firm plans on finishing school and a multitude of interests to pursue, she is focusing on doing what inspires her for as long as it makes her happy.
"Just like Tiktok, it's all been the promise I made to myself - and what me and my mom always talk about - to just do it while it's fun. If it ever gets to a point where it's not fun, then it's not worth it mentally."
Making videos for the internet is just one of the many things Halle enjoys doing, and with the opportunities for growth her platform has provided her with, she has endless potential to indulge in other projects.
Recent endeavors of hers include dabbling in playing music and attending casting calls. While no concrete plans have yet been made, she speaks animatedly about the possibility of one day hosting a podcast or releasing a cookbook.
For now, though, Halle is content with following the uphill stride of her social media journey. With her refreshing vulnerability and effervescent approachability, it is clear to see how her audience is so naturally drawn to her.
Halle Burns is definitely a name we'll all be hearing in the future. Truly, the only limit to her success is how high she's willing to shoot for.