Viral TikTokker doubles as student

By Kyle Ferraro 

Social media platforms are a hub for influencers creating content. The desire to be an influencer is rapidly growing, and Thomas Malacky, a senior telecommunications major, is a prime example of an up-and-coming internet celebrity.

 Malacky has amassed approximately 57,000 followers across multiple social media platforms, including TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat. He posts comical skits and stream highlights from his Twitch channel. On his Twitch channel, he streams the video game Minecraft. Malacky also utilizes his creative mind by working with fellow creators who’ve gained millions of followers. 

 Malacky’s love for editing and photography started when he was in high school. Since then, he said his skills expanded and his creative vision grew as well. 

“Just this past year, when I was working with a bunch of people that I am good friends with out in the LA area, they said that I had the vision when it comes to just seeing a shot or seeing an angle that people like to see,” Malacky said.

Malacky attributes his success to his friendship with Shane Nagy, who’s also a successful content creator. Nagy has racked up approximately 6 million followers across multiple platforms, with 4.6 million of them on TikTok

“I have [worked] out in the LA area,” Malacky said, noting that this includes photography. “I also help them edit their YouTube videos and/or Tiktok videos, alongside helping them set up stuff to become streamers themselves.”

Malacky has a large network of friends and clients in LA. 

“With all of the people I know out in Los Angeles — Shane Nagy — and I like to consider Shane Nagy one of my best friends,” Malacky said. “We really grew closer over the past few years and without him I wouldn’t have nearly as much as I have today.”

Nagy said when he first met Malacky, he recognized his talent.

“He is such a chill guy and so easy to vibe with. He always has the highest of energy, which keeps us all going during the time we film together,” Nagy said. “He’s also someone that I consider a brother to me. He’s taught me so much.”

Communications professor Adam Earnheardt, also special assistant to the provost, is known as an expert on all things social media. Having worked in, authored columns on and taught about social media for years, Earnheardt said it’s important to have an “in” when working with social media. 

“It’s just like anything else we do. When we’re trying to learn how to do something new, we usually try to find somebody else who’s an expert,” Earnheardt said. “I think finding someone who knows the nuances of content creation is important.” 

Earnheardt said it’s critical to form professional networks.

“For somebody who is just getting started and creating a network for the first time, it makes sense to ask that person that you’re learning from to introduce you to other content creators,” he said.

After graduation, Malacky plans to move West and continue his current path of success.