Truck driver goes 'live' to kill time
S'porean's live streams are so popular that companies sponsor him and fans ask him for relationship advice
Move over Chewbacca mum. Make way for Singapore's own video sensations.
One is a truck driver who is also a comedian and a "love guru". The other is a tour guide who can glam it up with the best.
Mr Nur JM Mohammad has a fan base of more than 40,000, with his Facebook Live videos hitting more than 1,200 views.
Pretty impressive considering Facebook Live was available only in April, and he started using it two months ago.
Facebook Live is a feature on Facebook that allows you to live stream videos to your followers. The videos will then be posted to your timeline when you tap "finish" to end the broadcast.
The feature has been picked up across the world, especially among long-haul truck drivers who live streamfor some company.
Mr JM or Jantan Malas (Malay for lazy man) logs onto Facebook Live between jobs.
"The waiting time between the cargo jobs can sometimes drag into long hours, so I will just walk around and talk to my fans," says the 37-year-old.
About 90 per cent of his fans are in Malaysia, he says.
He first posted videos on his Facebook page three years ago, andhe now has more than 300 videos.
Facebook Live means Mr JM is able to get closer to his fans and talk to them in real time through comments.
His fans even ask for advice on love, turning him into a "love guru" of sorts.
"People share their heartfelt feelings with me, and I hope to help them out," says Mr JM.
He has even won over some sponsorships. Fowrty, a plus-sized clothing company, and dietary supplement company Unicity have approached him.
Mr JM promotes the companies by mentioning them in his videos.
Not only is he comedic, Mr JM can also hold a note.
He usually sings Malay songs, and these videos have garnered more than 11,000 views.
"A lot of my fans ask me to sing and when they do, I'll usually look out for the song as soon as possible," says Mr JM.
"People have asked me to become a singer, but I don't think I have the looks to be one."
Ms Ava Gia Munaji Salamat (below) is a tour guide who started video blogging two years ago. She hosts the Suara Sexy Show, her version of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, on Facebook Live.
"I video blog about everything, about being a tour guide, about going to events and hosting events," says Ms Gia.
Her fans also listen to her opinions about current issues.
The 34-year-old has around 50,000 fans, and she is now in Colombia studying Spanish.
She was chosen with six others to become Singapore ambassadors to Colombia after reading an e-mail from the Singapore Tourism Board. The e-mail was about a Spanish Language Course offered by the Colombian government.
A number of Ms Gia's live videos have more than 3,000 views. She has also scored big gigs including hosting the Kuala Lumpur Anugerah Pilihan Online (Online Choice Awards) in May this year.
"That was my biggest project, and I was able to meet big stars like (Malaysian actress-singer) Erra Fazira," she says.
Ms Gia also has sponsors, such as Singapore car rental company Doktor Kereta, which she promotes in her videos.
Ms Gia says: "I want people to get inspired, to dare to dream and to be determined to be a better person. When one door closes, knock on others and see if they open up for you."
"I have a strong family who has been riding with me on this journey. My parents worked very hard for me, and I am who I am today because of their hard work.
"I want to produce my own TV show, be in movies, be awarded the best video blogger award in Singapore. I want to be known for doing things that inspire."
Expert: It's all about timing, content, luck
Facebook Live has made celebrities out of ordinary people.
Chewbacca mum, from Grand Prairie, Texas, was one of the first sensations in May this year.
Ms Candace Payne (above), 37, recorded herself putting on a Chewbacca mask and laughing hysterically.
The video garnered over 7 million views and multiple sponsorships for Ms Payne and her family. They were given a free vacation to Walt Disney World and even college sponsorships for her and her family.
There is also Ms Daisy Delaney, a long-haul trucker who goes onto Facebook Live to talk to her followers to keep her company.
Brent Rivera, 16, makes "weird" YouTube videos every week about daily activities and issues, which has earned him a following of more than 5 million fans.
Brent uses Facebook Live to talk to his fans in real time and answer their questions.
So how does one become an Internet celebrity?
Timing, content, luck, and algorithms, says Dr Crystal Abidin, a postdoctoral fellow in Sociology at the National University of Singapore.
Algorithms are a way of showing you content the programme thinks you want to see based on factors such as your social media feed, likes and dislikes and even the time.
The right combination can turn people into microcelebrities.
These are ordinary folk who gain fame and popularity among a niche audience on the Internet and have an intimate connection with their audiences, says Dr Crystal.
She says in the past, microcelebrities catered their content to be more relatable for viewers.
Now, they document their daily routine and bring people into their lives, adds Dr Crystal, who is also an affiliated researcher at Media Management and Transformation Centre at Jonkoping University in Sweden.
She says: "A new space has opened up for more ordinary people to establish themselves in a more raw and unedited format that feels more authentic, natural and relatable."