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How Paris Hilton is redefining social media on Roblox

Imogene Robinson
Imogene Robinson
6 min read
16 April 2024

From club queen to reality star, DJ to entrepreneur, Paris Hilton has been many things over the years. Now, the self-proclaimed original influencer has pivoted her brand yet again—this time, to the next era of social media. 

Together with 11:11 Media, which she co-founded with a former Disney executive, Paris launched Slivingland, an immersive experience created in Roblox. Less than a year later, the success Paris has cultivated in her Roblox ventures has demonstrated her incredible foresight in building her brand. 

Through Slivingland, she’s shown how this type of experience blurs the boundaries between gaming and social platforms.

Moreover, she’s also demonstrated what strategies brands can adopt to prepare for a not-unlikely future in which gaming platforms supersede social giants like Facebook and Instagram.

Is the party winding down for social media?

“I’ve always been a person who sees into the future,” Paris Hilton said about her ability to predict the latest cultural trends. “It might be because I’m an Aquarius.”

Regardless of where she gets her psychic ability, the accuracy of Paris’s predictions is startling. Her decision to double down on Roblox comes as time spent on social media reaches its ceiling. And, as consumers reach their max on socials, it’s become clear the existing landscape of platforms isn’t meeting all of their needs. 

To explore how different social platforms fulfill consumer needs, Snapchat conducted a study in partnership with Mindshare Neurolabs that identified six platform “need states.”

A diagram of the six social need states: Exploring, Learning, Progression, Hanging Out, Joy, and Connection.

Within the scope of these need states, Snapchat revealed their platform stood out with regard to Joy and Connection. A separate study with Neuro-Insight confirmed these results: 81% of social users attested to Snapchat’s unique ability to let them have fun with friends and family free of judgment. 

Snapchat’s “unique ability” to let consumers have fun with friends illustrates how consumers want to experience joy and connection on social media but Joy and Connection are hard to find. 

This wasn’t always the case for social platforms. Millennials will recall the heyday of Facebook a decade ago, when back-and-forth exchanges on friends’ posts filled their timelines and poke wars reigned supreme over Snap streaks. Now, however, social media has become less “social” and more “media.”

As a result, while the party’s not quite over for OG social platforms, young consumers in particular have started searching for a new venue. 

While Facebook remains the world’s largest social platform, for example, the percentage of teenagers with an active account has declined to 33%, down from 71% in 2014-2015. By comparison, nearly 40% of the users on Snapchat and TikTok are under the age of 24.

Right now, it’s clear that Snapchat and TikTok are the hot places to be. The best place, however, is wherever the party is heading next—and that’s exactly where Paris Hilton has positioned herself.

Forging connection among Generation Roblox

Where many social platforms are struggling to meet young consumers’ need for connection (in the words of Paris Hilton) gaming platforms are “killing it.” 

In choosing Roblox as the activation site for Slivingland, for example, Paris Hilton chose a platform that has been described as “the most social ecosystem on the planet.”

It’s not just Roblox, either. By enabling players to communicate, contribute to the world around them, and have fun as they embark on adventures together, other platforms like Minecraft and Fortnite have also cultivated vibrant worlds and passionate communities.

As a result, games like these have become the foundation for a friendlier version of the metaverse: immersive experiences. These enable users to connect and play in a virtual world but, unlike the full-fledged metaverse, immersive experiences live within pre-existing platforms with pre-established audiences and powerful reach.

To give a sense of just how powerful gaming’s reach is, consider this: 76% of Gen Z uses TikTok, the most popular social media platform among their generation, but as much as 90% of Gen Z play video games.

And then there’s Gen Alpha. For this generation, it’s impossible to predict which social platforms they prefer because their oldest members are only just now reaching the age minimum required to have a social account. Gaming, however, is already practically ubiquitous: an astonishing 94% of Gen Alpha play video games

Where Millennials were responsible for the rise of Facebook and Gen Z were responsible for the rise of TikTok, Gen Alpha is defining a new era of social connection on gaming platforms through immersive experiences. 

Creating lasting engagement starts with joy

Slivingland is far from the only branded immersive experience launched on Roblox. Among the 400+ others are Nike, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Chipotle, and Hyundai. 

Every one of these brands understands the value of Roblox and other gaming platforms as the source of connection driving the next era of social. 

However, as a panel of gaming experts hosted by The Drum pointed out, launching an experience on a platform like Roblox is just a first step. The long-term effectiveness of that investment hinges on a more difficult challenge: Whether or not brands can build an ecosystem that keeps users coming back.

It’s in this regard that everything Paris Hilton has accomplished with Slivingland stands out. By continuously delivering joy to users, she’s defined Slivingland as an evergreen entertainment hub.  

For example, limited releases of digital collectibles have been a powerful draw for fans since Slivingland’s launch. When Paris and 11:11 Media launched their collab with Hilton Honors, they built off that success by creating a scavenger hunt that users could complete to earn one of 50,000 collectibles.

More than 56,200 claims happened during the campaign window. Even after all the prizes had been snapped up, users kept playing. In total, over 88,900 scavenger hunts were completed.

As of April 2024, Slivingland has had almost 3.5 million visitors. From an outsider’s perspective, as Venture Beat noted, that success is difficult to fully convey—but its significance is enormous. 

With Slivingland, Paris has accomplished something even people like Mark Zuckerberg haven’t been able to do: She’s proven the vitality of immersive experiences.

Sliving into the future

In anticipation of its launch, Paris described Slivingland as “a place where we can connect, create, and sliv together, making unforgettable memories in a whole new virtual universe.”

Joy and connection have been fundamental components of Paris’s vision for the future of online interaction from the beginning. By successfully incorporating both of them, she’s proven the possibility of gaming platforms as the next great terrain for social media.



Imogene Robinson

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