by Sam Smith

The internet can create some crazy communities. If you’ve ever checked your Instagram explore page, you’ve probably stumbled upon a slime shop. These slime shops are Instagram accounts that also link to websites where they sell slime. The average slime Instagram has about 250,000 followers and their videos receive millions of views. The first slime was made by Mattel and began selling in 1976. It came in a bright green trash can and most people thought it looked like snot. It was marketed as a gross toy, sometimes with accompanying plastic bugs, eyeballs and even toilets to come with the goo. Fast forward about 40 years later and slime is an internet phenomenon. The goop has changed from being a gross toy to a relaxing and cute thing to play with or simply watch other people play with. Slime has created an entirely different world on Instagram, which can be pretty confusing to an outsider.

Slime Instagrams are less trendy than they were a few years ago, yet their communities remain strong. There are thousands of accounts that post videos of people making and playing with slime. Most of these accounts are linked to websites where the creators can sell the slime they make. They even participate in conventions, where slime fans and slime makers can meet and buy slime. YouTube also has its own slime community, but the one on Instagram has a larger fan base size and the accounts continue to grow.

 

A staple to most of these Instagram accounts is acrylic nails. Most of the time, the people running these accounts can’t just post videos of the slime, they have to get their nails done first. It seems to make sense, considering their main advertising for their product is taking videos of their hands. Somehow, there appears to be no videos of anyone losing their acrylic nails in the slime, and they also never seem to have to clean the slime out from under their nails. It also appears to be a bit of a flex of their money they make from their slime, considering manicures are not cheap at all.

Speaking of money, the main question you probably have is, “How much money are these people making?” I don’t have a concrete answer, but I have a hypothesis. Instagram accounts can often do sponsored posts. While slime accounts don’t frequently do ads, Elmer’s Glue does occasionally sponsor them. More often than not, an ad on an Instagram post seems to be promoting other slime Instagram shops. None of them officially say how much they actually make from Instagram posts, but Inkifi is a site that can estimate–based on follower counts–how much an Instagram account can charge per post. The average slime account has around 250,000 followers. This means they can charge around $1,000 per sponsored post. The average slime shop online sells slime for $12-15 a piece. So, let’s say the average slime price is $13.50. Imagine that a slime shop sells 15 slimes a week for that price. If they do two sponsored posts a month and sell 15 slimes a week, then they can make $2,810 a month just through their slime. This is a very rough estimate, but you can see where they can make easy money through these shops.

Slime makers often use other brands as a way to promote their products. They often use things like Mickey Mouse and Mountain Dew in the names of their slimes. They often use logos of other companies, which is illegal without the correct permissions or specific ways of being used. It seems strange that these slime companies are able to profit off of others’ logos, but it also is unlikely that legal action will ever be taken against them, considering they aren’t hurting sales for the products they are using and so many of these slime makers are doing it. Considering that, it likely wouldn’t be worth it for the companies to file lawsuits on all slime accounts using their logos because it would cost them so much. It will be interesting to see if legal action is ever taken in the future.

 

These slime Instagram accounts also take advantage of Instagram’s algorithm and their younger fanbases. The people running these accounts know that most of their followers are usually between the ages of 10-13, and they seem to take advantage of that. The main way these accounts get popular is through the comment system. They will often post captions that have absolutely nothing to do with the post at all, but instead, get their followers to comment on the posts. They usually ask questions on posts, knowing that younger followers are more likely to engage in the comments. This high engagement is what helps these accounts appear on your Instagram explore page, even if you haven’t liked anything similar.


 

The world of slime has grown and changed a lot in 40 years, and it definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Oddly satisfying compilations get millions of hits and slime will continue to hit the spot for people for a long time. From the sound to the color, slime is all around a pleasant thing for a lot of Instagram users. As long as glue is sold, these accounts will continue to lurk in your explore page.


Sources: Instagram, Inkifi, Upcounsel,

Featured Image: Sam Smith

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