Jerome Jarre is the most loved person you’ve never heard of.
Eight million people follow the 24-year-old on Vine, where he’s probably known best as “that French guy.” Jarre’s Vines typically preach acceptance and a love for life, and his savviness with the platform has earned him a massive Snapchat following as well.
Here are five things to know about this French fellow who’s got everyone in such a tizzy.
He Taught Himself English
Jarre taught himself English while living in China, mostly from the audiobook version of Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. (He and Vaynerchuk are now partners in an advertising agency that focuses on Vine and other social media stars.)
He’s So Popular, It’s Kind of Dangerous
As The New York Times reports in its profile of Jarre, riot police were recently called in to corral a massive crowd that turned up at a meet-up Jarre organized in São Paulo, Brazil. Times reporter Nick Bilton mentions that some girls screamed they “couldn’t breathe” around him in Manhattan’s Union Square recently.
His Is a Real Rags-to-Riches Story …
Jarre dropped out of college at 19, and moved to China, and then Toronto, to launch a series of startups, all of which failed. Even as his online presence started to grow in 2013, he was sleeping on the floor of an office, showering at a gym, and eating other people’s leftovers whenever he could.
But He’s Kept His Integrity
Jarre was offered $1 million to endorse a brand he’ll only identify as “an unhealthy food product” on social media. He considered the offer for a week, but ultimately turned it down. “My purpose in life wasn’t to come to New York City to convince people to eat unhealthy food,” Jarre told the Times.
He’s Got a Great Rolodex
It’s probably weird to reference an outdated piece of office technology in a blurb about an Internet celebrity, but Jarre has some friends in high places. He’s made vines with Robert De Niro, Pharrell Williams, Ashton Kutcher, Kristen Bell, and Ansel Elgort, the last of whom Jarre nominated for something he’s calling the “ugly selfie challenge,” “COZ WE ALL CARE WAY TOO MUCH ABOUT OUR LOOK WHILE THE ONLY THING THAT TRUELY MATTERS IS HOW WE LOOK INSIDE OUR HEARTS,” as he puts it on Instagram. Elgort posted the photo below as a response.