Fancams Aren’t Just For Pop Stars Anymore
The rampant fancams populating every corner of Stan Twitter appear to be reaching an even wider audience as of late thanks to creative editing, buzzy tracks and new subjects outside the pop world.
Visit any comment section on Stan Twitter in the year 2020 and you’ll be met with a barrage of “fancam” videos. At its most basic form, a fancam is a piece of video content shared by devoted fans (commonly referred to as “stans”) to promote their respective pop idols online. Fancams have saturated the comment sections to such a large degree that they look like spam tweets to those unfamiliar – and that’s not exactly wrong.
Originated and popularized by the K-pop community, a fancam in its earliest form is footage taken by a fan of their idol singing or dancing on stage. They weren’t originally supposed to be funny, clever, or even related to the tweets under which they were posted. Rather, fancams were created as a tool to promote artists that doubled as a game of clout chasing. Fans found incentive to promote their fancams thanks to Twitter’s public view count, pushing the limits of how much they could spam comment them across the internet with the goal of reaching thousands and even millions of views.
— Everlasting (@Everlasting9791) November 30, 2016
since we all miss our vocal dancing king Ten, let’s make this fancam of New Heroes viral so everyone see how talented our boy is ? pic.twitter.com/RjUfwfqMA5
— cami ¹²⁷ (@ohdearnct) November 30, 2018
Erigom we got another fancam to promote
— , (@silver_nini_) November 30, 2018
While the end goal of a fancam is often to get the most views possible, the mission at large is a noble one: to promote the artist. And even though this results in a whole lot of clutter and spam in certain corners of Twitter, stans have proven in the past that their fancams have real-life impact. Take the K-pop girl group EXID, for example, whose song “Up & Down” experienced a spike in popularity in 2014 thanks to a mega popular fancam uploaded to YouTube by user pharkil. According to Korean entertainment blog Seoulbeats, the fancam helped the track ascend multiple charts, land the group TV appearances and bolster EXID‘s cultural relevancy. The fancam has 30 MILLION views on YouTube alone, a staggering figure considering it’s an amateur video.
Fast forward to the Stan Twitter of today, and fancams have taken on a new form with American pop stars like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Billie Eilish and many more. Stans are getting more creative with the help of professional footage rather than the standard smartphone concert shot, splicing together clips of interviews, Instagram stories and red carpet arrivals over tracks that ooze a “bad bitch energy.” At its best, the fancam 2.0 packs in more commentary and laughs than a 240 character tweet ever could.
TOP 10 SONG OF ALL TIME SHE DID THAT!!!
— Jake Lindner ? (@JakeLindner) March 6, 2020
best billie fancam period pic.twitter.com/b2FIdcrKje
— alexa (@listenbillie) February 16, 2020
— Luka (@getawaysummer22) February 27, 2020
A handful of tracks continue to dominate the fancam 2.0 model, including Minaj‘s “Good Form,” Famous Dex‘s “Hoes Mad,” Flo Milli‘s “Beef FloMix” and Azealia Banks‘s demo track “Competition.” The result is a far more accessible piece of content than the original K-pop fancam that allows for new subjects outside the pop world. Take these fancams of Timothée Chalamet, Angelina Jolie and John Boyega for example:
anyways stan timothée chalamet for clean skin pic.twitter.com/XGHCWQhn7h
— çağla (@teddylaurie_) March 5, 2020
— ? gabriel (@intoragnarok) February 28, 2020
john boyega fancam azealia banks competition your shoes, your weave and your purse if you’re bad, believe that I’m worse pic.twitter.com/2UGvv3Efn1
— a (@merlinsmarveI) January 3, 2020
Even Lil Nas X has jumped on the trend with a recent fancam of a Purell hand sanitizer bottle amid the Coronavirus scare:
— nope (@LilNasX) March 12, 2020
Like any great meme that’s come before, the internet has found a way to twist the format into some truly bizarre (and hilarious) content. Bernie Sanders fancams are racking up hundreds of thousands of view across multiple iterations, while the Coronavirus is getting the pop star treatment thanks to its viral reach over the past couple months.
— ᶜᴿᴬᶜᴷᴴᴱᴬᴰ (@_gennylynn_) March 3, 2020
almost gold ? pic.twitter.com/VcFpHODPKI
— i (@gratefulsels) January 25, 2020
Stans are also using the fancam format to address trending topics with the help of news headlines, tweets, interview audio in an attempt to tell a full story in video format. A recent example of this comes from a Camila Cabello fan whose fancam addresses the singer’s strained relationship with former Fifth Harmony group mate Normani. The narrative is fairly nuanced and deserves more explanation than we can give here, so check out the tweet below the fancam for more context.
ofc she did that’s what the queen of pop does pic.twitter.com/tbCA1emeTV
— F4!7H (@planetsatori) March 6, 2020
Normani opens up to @RollingStone about Camila Cabello’s resurfaced racial Tumblr posts:
“It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me, it was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood,” pic.twitter.com/CcBh7VPMTv
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 28, 2020
Other fancams attempt to address issues at large within the music industry that aren’t necessarily specific to the day’s news. If executed properly, they serve as an engaging alternative to the long winded tweet threads we see so often today. One example comes from a Taylor Swift fan who spliced together various interviews of the singer explaining how sexism has addressed her public image:
Taylor AOTd pic.twitter.com/tCgeCxOXyF
— ???? THE MAN ! (@TSLover_13_) March 2, 2020
Despite their original intention, fancams have become so ingrained in Stan Twitter that they’re often weaponized against other idols. Look at any tweet with negative connotations toward Justin Bieber, for example, and you’ll see dozens of glitzy Selena Gomez fancams in the comments boasting her achievements (or vice versa). It doesn’t necessarily matter the context in which the fancam is posted, though, as some stans will drop their video just about anywhere as a flex for the sake of flexing.
In other cases, stans edit their fancams to highlight the low points of an idol’s career who they actively dislike. This Justin Bieber fancam below showcases a collection of bad album reviews and negative headlines set to Nicki Minaj‘s “Good Form.”
YUP I LOVE THIS FANCAM SO MUCHpic.twitter.com/oU6RZ4duGq
— Kahfi (@kahfirmdhn) March 8, 2020
The general public has yet to catch onto fancams, but new and creative iterations like the ones above show that it has the potential to reach a wider audience. It’s possible that users outside of Stan Twitter will be more inspired to join the trend by the video below, which sees a user creating a fancam of themselves:
can u spell… faggit? because i can’t. ANYWAYS! debuting my fancam of myself bc i’m like, my own biggest fan. what about it? ??❤️ pic.twitter.com/8CD61qQIKi
— tonny // pro-scott era ?❤️ (@tapewormlbbh) March 5, 2020
Record label marketing teams should take note of the fancam trend even it remains within the Stan Twitter bubble. While the idea of posting a full minute or two of a song goes against the copyright rules that users are so often suspended for, the best fancams reach millions of stans who are already on the lookout for new music. Similar to the way in which memes and TikToks have launched songs up the charts, a fancam could very well be the vessel in which an artist markets their music to new, unsuspecting listeners.
“Competition” by Azealia Banks serves as perfect candidate for this type of fancam promo. In addition to gaining traction on TikTok, the song has dominated so many fancams that it’s helped define the format we see today. And despite being a demo track, the audio has garnered almost a million views on YouTube from those eager to hear the full song.
Check out some of the most popular fancam songs in their full form below. Do you think any of them have a shot at climbing the charts?
Hoes Mad by Famous Dex
Beef FloMix by Flo Milli
Boss Bitch by Doja Cat
Do you think the fancam trend will go mainstream? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @PopCrave!