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Ross Smith and His 94-Year-Old Grandma Have Millions of Followers — Meet the Viral Video Stars

Edduin Carvajal
Sep 12, 2020
08:20 A.M.
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Internet personality Ross Smith and his grandma, Pauline “Granny” Kana, have been making people laugh online with their hilarious videos for years.

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It all started in 2013 when Ross was still in college at the University of Dayton. He was recording himself and Granny playing basketball, and she did something funny, so he thought that it would be worth sharing it on the now-extinct video app Vine.

[Granny] didn’t even know what the internet was.

Pauline “Granny” Kana during an interview with Steve Harvey in his show | Photo: YouTube/Ross Smith

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ROSS SMITH AND GRANDMA’S INTERNET CAREER

Little did he know that the short clip would go viral with hundreds of thousands of views. From that point on, he kept capturing Granny being her funny-self and uploading them online.

Most of us have probably run into videos of Granny pretending to be a thug (gangster Granny), making fun of Ross in different ways, and performing some of the trendiest internet challenges.

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For all those reasons, Ross Smith and his grandma are internet sensations with millions of followers on social media nowadays.

Only on TikTok, where they frequently share their content, they have over 12 million followers. Most of their videos have at least 2M views, but others have already reached the 50-million mark.

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Having such an incredible career online is no easy task, as many might believe. In fact, as reported by Money, Ross can invest as much as $200,000 a year to make high-quality content.

To get one good photo, Ross can invest over $1,000 in things that some people take for granted, like props, equipment, camera, and so on.

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ROSS SMITH AND GRANDMA AFTER VINE SHUT DOWN

That’s probably the reason why he thought that his life was over in 2017 when Vine shut down. Actor and internet personality Cameron Dallas probably thought the same, too. Since most of Ross' fanbase was on Vine, and he had about 3,000 followers on Instagram, he considered giving up on their social media career.

Fortunately, one of his clips went viral on Facebook a few weeks after Vine was shut down, and he realized that not everything was lost. By that time, though, he had already learned a lesson: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

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With Vine, Ross Smith learned that things could change very quickly and that, on the internet, there is no consistency. Algorithms can shift, accounts can get deactivated, and brand deals can be hard to get and/or keep.

Over time, he has learned to treat his brand as his most important asset. He even recommends others to be persistent and to think about the long run and how to stay relevant for as long as possible.

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ROSS SMITH’S INTERNET STRATEGY

In recent years, Ross has become the “Mark Cuban [from ‘Shak Tank’] of the internet” by offering his platform to different businesses in exchange for a cut of the profits.

It has proven to be a prolific strategy, something that Granny, who grew up poor during World War II and worked blue-collar jobs for years, doesn’t really care. According to Ross, his grandma is very obstinate when it comes to money.

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Ross Smith’s granny has refused to move from her 700-square-foot house located “in the hood” in Youngstown, Ohio, and she didn’t even want the money their viral videos make.

Her grandson admitted that he and his mom came up with the idea of sneaking money into Granny’s bank account every month.

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ROSS SMITH’S GRANNY ENJOYS BEING WITH HER GRANDSON

Ross admitted that, for the first three years, Granny thought that he was taking pictures of her, and she didn’t even know what the internet was.

Granny once admitted that although being recognized in public was strange, she enjoys shooting the videos with Ross because of the time they spend together.

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On August 1, Ross uploaded a photo on Instagram to wish his grandma a happy 94th birthday. In the pic, she was sitting on a beer throne, flashing her infectious smile at the camera.

In the caption, Ross Smith wrote that he was sorry about the fact that Granny had to be in quarantine the whole year, but added that great things and memories are yet to come. We are very likely to see more of this hilarious duo in the future!

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