Short-form video app Triller has recruited influencers from the TikTok collective Sway LA to live in its 2 new content houses

  • The short-form video app Triller has opened up two new creator houses in Los Angeles.
  • The house's first residents are members of the TikTok creator collective Sway LA. Three of its tenants — Josh Richards, Noah Beck, and Griffin Johnson — have direct ties to Triller as investors and advisors.
  • Triller said it's going back-and-forth on names for its creator houses, but "Trill" house and "Ill" house are early contenders.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Short-form video app Triller has launched two new creator houses in Los Angeles as the company continues its push to recruit talent from competitor TikTok. 

The mansions are currently housing seven members of the TikTok collective Sway LA, including Josh Richards, Noah Beck, Griffin Johnson, Bryce Hall, Jaden Hossler, Quinton Griggs, and Blake Gray, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Several of Triller's new house residents have direct ties to the company. Richards, Johnson, and Beck are all investors in Triller, and Richards holds the title of chief strategy officer at the short-form video startup (Johnson and Beck are also formal advisors). The company onboarded the trio with an eye toward having the TikTok stars provide guidance on how to build products that meet the needs of video creators. 

"We thought to ourselves, 'Why are we always trying to guess what people like Josh want?'" Bobby Sarnevesht, executive chairman at Triller, told Business Insider. "'Why don't we bring on Josh and just have him tell it.'"

"In an advisor role, we're just going to be working alongside Josh," Johnson told Business Insider in an interview last month. "Listening to creators. Branching out. Asking for feedback so we can basically help form and develop a better experience for them."

The inaugural residents of Triller's content houses have lived together before. As members of Sway LA, which is managed by TalentX Entertainment, Richards, Johnson, Hall, and Hossler moved into a Bel Air mansion run by TalentX in January, with Beck, Griggs, and Gray joining the group later in the year.

The group is considering naming its two properties the 'Trill' house and 'Ill' house

Triller said it's going back-and-forth on names for its creator houses, but "Trill" house and "Ill" house are early contenders. It's not charging any of the creators to live in the house and declined to comment on whether it owned the properties or was renting from another owner.

Influencer Aedan Carden, who isn't a Triller house resident, recently gave a tour of one of the company's new houses that he posted on Triller and Instagram. Carden visited the house on August 5, which he said was the day before Richards and Sway LA creators moved in.

A post shared by CARDEN (@aedancarden)

 

"I pitched the idea to [Triller] to host a takeover at their Triller House, which I believe was kind of an office space slash event area," Carden said. "Primarily it was just to show the house and show the direction that Triller's heading in, which is more on the influencer side of things. Especially because they were known for working with a lot of artists."

By launching its own content houses, Triller is taking another step forward in its competition with TikTok and other short-form video apps

As political scrutiny around TikTok has intensified in the US with threats of a potential ban or forced sale, Triller has been pushing hard to grab market share from the ByteDance-owned company.

In July, Anis Uzzaman, general partner and founder at Pegasus Tech Ventures, which has invested in Triller, said Triller was looking to raise an additional $250 million in a new funding round. Triller also recently filed a lawsuit against TikTok alleging that TikTok is infringing on its patent, approved in 2017, for its video-editing and soundtrack-adding software.

Social-video apps like Triller, Byte, and Dubsmash have seen installs rise recently as TikTok creators and fans look for alternative platforms to host and view content amid the political scrutiny. Instagram also recently launched a short-video feature called Reels that directly competes with TikTok.

Triller's push into the Los Angeles content house scene could help the company increase brand awareness as it looks to compete with TikTok and other short-form video apps. Triller announced on July 3 that it had 50 million monthly active users.

Members of Sway LA have been actively promoting Triller on their TikTok accounts in recent weeks, posting videos wearing Triller shirts and hats and asking their tens of millions of TikTok followers to add them on Triller. 

"We aren't going to stop right away posting on TikTok because we want to be able to migrate our audience over from TikTok to Triller," Richards told Business Insider last month. "It's definitely going to be slowing down and eventually moving over to Triller."

For more coverage on TikTok and its competitors, read these other recent stories on Business Insider: 

  • Short-form video app Triller has hired 18-year-old TikTok star Josh Richards as its chief strategy officer and an investor says it's looking to raise $250 million in new funding: Social platforms like Triller and Instagram are taking steps to lure creators from TikTok as they aim to compete in the short-form video category.
  • Instagram's rival to TikTok will come to the US in early August: Like TikTok, Reels allows users to record and edit short-form videos with audio and music soundtracks. Reels will exist inside of Instagram Stories.
  • Rising calls to ban TikTok in the US are great news for homegrown tech giants like Facebook that would prefer less competition and regulatory scrutiny: American tech giants looking to ward off unwanted regulation are using China as a bogeyman to scare Washington, DC. It's working.
  • TikTok influencers reveal all the ways they're making money despite the app's limited monetization features: From selling direct-to-consumer products like merch to partnering with brands on sponsorships, there are a number of ways TikTokers are making money.

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