Maureen Corrigan

Advisor: Prof. Marcella Szablewicz

Communications and Media Studies

Document Type



This study delves into the concept of parasocial relationships (PSR) in the 21st century, specifically how social media influencers employ parasocial interaction (PSI) tactics on TikTok to form these relationships. This study explores the affordances of direct contact that TikTok allows for and its influence on PSR/PSI. This was able to be done by using popular TikTok influencer Brittany Broski’s “spam” account as a case study. I coded specific PSI tactics and tracked how these tactics correlated to the engagement metrics of her videos. As well as, content analyzing four specific organic and sponsored posts to see how these tactics are utilized in high and low performing videos. While also examining the audience’s reactions to these posts. Specifically in the sponsored posts I explore how PSIs are used and perceived in a marketing context. This study contributes to the overall understanding of the affordances TikTok in the means of direct communication between fan and media figure, often unavailable during prior studies on PSR. Thus seeing the potential impact this has on the future of TikTok, PSR, and the use of influencer marketing.