What are NPC streams, the new trend on TikTok Live?

By Melany Moncada


Jul 21, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

NPC Streamers on TikTok Live is the most recent trend taking the internet by storm. While it might be difficult to understand at first and just recently became mainstream, this type of content is not new.

If you see your favorite content creator live on TikTok repeating phrases like “Ice cream so good” and “Gang gang”, don’t be surprised. This is the most recent trend that is taking over social media.

It all started when a clip from a stream hosted by PinkyDoll, whose real name is Fedha Sinon, went viral on Twitter. People were equally surprised and intrigued by the creator, whose content consists of repetitive actions prompted by donations.

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Every time a viewer sends out a gift, PinkyDoll would react accordingly. Each type of donation prompts a specific reaction. The actions are combined with an even more intriguing activity, popping corn with a hair iron.

This process can go on for hours. PinkyDoll revealed in an interview with The New York Times that she earns between $2,000 and $3,000 per stream.

While PinkyDoll has now become the face of NPC steamers, she is not the first and not even the most peculiar, member of the community.

What’s an NPC stream?

NPC streams are niche content that is prevalent on TikTok Live. In these streams, people pretend to be NPC, which stands for non-playable character. Viewers send gifts that can cost from cents to thousands of dollars. These gifts prompt a reaction from the NPC.

It is impossible to track the exact origin of NPC content creation in the platform. However, it is possible to identify some of the prominent creators in the space. The trend seems to have originated in Japan, where young women pretend to be live dolls.

One of the most popular creators goes by the name Shu on TikTok. The Japanese woman uploads highly saturated videos pretending to be a live doll. She streams on the platform regularly and gathers thousand of viewers whenever she is on.

Popping corn with a hair iron is another popular activity on TikTok Live. These are usually faceless creators who only show their hands and their tools.

Some other niche content creators include peeling boiled eggs, scratching lottery tickets, workers going through their days in factories in China, and many more.

Why do people like NPC streams?

Every time a new trend surfaces, the main question on people’s minds is, why do people like what they like?

One of the attractive elements of streamers is the ability to control their actions in one way or the other. It is satisfying to be acknowledged by the creator when a donation is sent out or a subscription is confirmed. NPC streams take it a step further by allowing the viewers to control everything that happens on the stream.


Another element of this type of stream is how mindless the content is. In a time where content is extremely accessible, going online becomes an overwhelming experience. When you have every piece of content in existence available in the palm of your hand, how can you choose? NPC streams offer mindless, pointless content that might be soothing to viewers.

Are NPC streamers here to stay?

Creators like Kai Cenat and Tana Mongeau have jumped on the train and hosted their own NPC streams. The revenue from these streams is in the thousands, which doesn’t necessarily speak of how profitable or relevant this type of content will be over time.

Big creators are bound to make big money, no matter the platform or the type of content. To them, NPC streams are just a fun trend. And, like every trend, it will die off eventually.

NPC streamers, the original ones like PinkyDoll and Shu, will continue to do it. The niche audience that enjoyed it, will continue to watch and support their favorite creators. So, fear not, your favorite streamer won’t become an NPC streamer overnight.