YouTube influencer 19Wongs4 opens up on his rise to online fame

Written by Amber Kwok

Joey Photo 3.JPG

As of November 1st, YouTuber Joey Wong, known as his stage name 19Wongs4, reached 3,600 subscribers. Having uploaded his first Roblox gaming video a year ago, the Year 11 RCHK student has found explosive growth since his first video in August 2017, earning around $5000 HKD altogether in the past year. His fanbase took root through the Tower Battles communities that he administers, and grew as he released screen-recorded captures of his plays layered with his own running commentary.

Roblox is an online multiplayer game creation platform that allows users to create their own games and play each others’ through Roblox Studio. Since starting his channel as a joke for his Discord friends, Joey remarked that he never anticipated that it would start “going quite big.” Admitting that he does “play the game all the time,”  the 15-year-old stated that he really likes the game and saw that as a reason to record them as a way to share his experiences with his fellow gamers.

On top of his success, Joey also gained unexpected notoriety among his schoolmates for his on-screen alias. His use of his in-school Google username, 19wongs4, has become quite a meme around the school, with Wong himself stating that “it’s a bit cringey and hilarious at the same time.”

His friends and classmates regularly pose as crazed fans as he passes by in the halls, jeering his channel name and laughing good-naturedly at his sudden success. Despite this, Joey does not foresee a name change any time soon--he has used it as his Roblox username for a very long time, adding that “it represents me.”

As a profiting YouTuber, Wong must upload regularly and maintain high-quality branding and relations with his fans. As such, he required a manager to keep him up with all his tasks--for which he employed another Year 11 student, Brendan Mah--who admitted that he “sort of decided to be his manager myself, to be honest,” and designs thumbnails, devises upload schedules, and provides helpful tips that have all contributed to 19Wongs4’s steady growth (for example--making sure all his videos are ten minutes or longer since it must be that duration for monetization).

Though the channel reportedly experienced a spike in December 2017, as “Christmas is when most people watch videos,” Mah describes his growth as “mostly linear, not spikes.” 19Wongs4 purportedly grew substantially once his manager began designing thumbnails for him, although Mah says that “he was quite successful on his own already.”

When asked about who, exactly, are 19Wongs4’s most dedicated fans, Mah explained that according to the statistics, they are mostly kids from America. Crediting his legitimate work for Wong in setting up his finances, Mah revealed that he did, in fact, receive financial compensation for his work. “Before I did this, we sort of set, like, rules for the finance,” he explained. “We did have a sort of pay, you could say,” he added.

During his short hiatus during Summer 2018, Wong admits to not earning much and growing a lot slower--however, he has since uploaded two videos that have racked up a total of around 3000 views and he plans to keep creating as much as he can from now on.

Although his channel is still just a “side project” to the two right now, Wong aspires to reach one million subscribers one day and will work diligently alongside Mah until he gets there.

Support 19Wongs4, and subscribe to his channel here!