Gummy vitamins broke the internet last weekend. The beauty supplements were at the center of the feud between beauty YouTubers Tati Westbrook and James Charles that captivated social media and made its way into the mainstream.
Searches for "James Charles," "Tati Westbrook" and "Sugar Bear Hair" have spiked since the drama unfolded last weekend, according to Google Trends.
As people Googled “Who is James Charles” and tried to figure out why he was canceled, many stumbled upon something often viewed as a niche corner of the internet, but is actually a massive market.
YouTubers and influencers can make or break a brand, like Sugar Bear Hair, the company in the middle of the drama. According to data on Captiv8, the company has received tens of millions of likes on sponsored posts, and the company's highest engagement comes from its YouTube endorsements.
When Charles posted a sponsored Instagram story for Sugar Bear in April, which experts estimate the vitamin brand could pay six figures for, he wasn’t just slighting his mentor, he was potentially taking customers away from Westbrook’s burgeoning rival company, which could cost her millions. Friendship was at stake, but so was money.
But after all of this fighting, Sugar Bear reigns as the real winner of the feud, said Krishna Subramanian, the co-founder of Captiv8, a branded content platform that connects brands to creators and influencers.