Names: Xavier Di Petta and Nick Iavarone
Ages: Mr. Di Petta is 25 and Mr. Iavarone is 24
Following: 20.5 million on TikTok
Location: Los Angeles
Content: Mr. Di Petta and Mr. Iavarone are most famous for their series “Fact or Cap,” where they put seemingly simple life hacks to the test to determine if they’re real or fake. (“Cap” is slang for a lie.) The duo said they began last December after seeing several viral experiments on their TikTok “For You” page. They’re fans of the show “MythBusters” and decided to recreate something similar, busting viral life hacks. “We were like, OK, why don’t we just test them, make it easy and have some fun with it,” Mr. Iavarone said.
So far, they’ve determined that putting oil on an avocado will not stop it from turning brown, spraying Axe on an egg will not make it bounce, and putting lemon juice on ice won’t make it smoke. They’ve tested more than 1,000 hacks in all.
When Covid-19 vaccines began rolling out this past spring, the men also began dispelling lies and viral videos on social media claiming things like the vaccine would make you magnetic. “There’s some we do that are more current and then there’s some evergreen stuff like urban legends for years that we go and test,” said Mr. Iavarone.
In addition to their “Fact or Cap” series, the two also review food. In August, they posted a video reviewing Korean hot dogs, giving them between a 7 and 8 out of 10 in terms of deliciousness. “We’re going into the food space,” said Mr. Di Petta. “We’re doing crazy food concoctions, all that stuff, so we’re trying to expand our horizons.”
Before fame: Mr. Iavarone grew up in Orange County, Calif. and played sports throughout his life. When he began getting more into music in college and started DJing, a friend connected him with Mr. Di Petta, also a DJ, hoping they could help each other out. Mr. Di Petta, who grew up in Australia, was no stranger to social media. He started a YouTube account back in 2007, which at one point became the 10th most subscribed to channel in Australia.
The two began partnering on music projects, forming a DJ duo named Party Shirt. When the pandemic hit, however, they turned to TikTok. After they gained followers by posting their music on the app, they began producing the “Fact or Cap” series.
Advice: Both the men said it’s important to be bold online. Many people feel embarrassed by their videos, especially given that offline friends and contacts are likely to see them. The men said that shame is often the biggest hurdle, but it shouldn’t be. “Everything’s cringey until it gets views,” said Mr. Di Petta. “I don’t care who it is.” That doesn’t mean success will be easy. “It really is just a huge workload,” Mr. Di Petta said.
The men also stressed developing your own unique personality. “The app moves so fast that you kind of got to be with the trends, yet stay original at the same time,” said Mr. Iavarone. “80 percent of it is the mental game of posting something, seeing it not do well, and having the will to post again and stick to your battle. Just stick to it and it’ll work itself out one way or another.”