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How To Make $500,000 A Year On Twitter


UberFacts founder Kris Sanchez has turned his addictive Twitter feed into a wildly lucrative business. But not everyone's buying it.

How to make $500k a year on Twitter [Photo Illustration: Joel Arbaje for Fast Company, Rubber Duckie: Flickr user Daniel Rothamel, Crying Boy: Flickr user Michael Bentley, Whale: Flickr user Biodiversity Heritage Library, Money: Flickr user Tony, Wolf: Flickr user Matt, Britney Spears: Flickr user Rhys Adams, Beer: Flickr user Tambako The Jaguar, Girl Crying: Flickr user E. Ream Photography]

Kris Sanchez is tapping furiously on the screen of his iPhone 6.

"It gets harder"—-tap, tap, tap—"and harder as you go," he says, staring intently at the sleek appliance. "You have"—tap, tap, tap—"less time."


How to make $500k a year on TwitterKris Sanchez

It’s a blindingly sunny morning in October, and Sanchez, founder of the uber-popular Twitter account UberFacts, is sitting outside at a sidewalk cafe in Beverly Hills showing me a feature on the about-to-be-released UberFacts Android app. (An iOS app already exists.) He's playing a game called UberTap, in which you try to tap the screen a certain number of times within a certain number of seconds. Say, 80 times in 10 seconds. It’s mindlessly addictive (wait—what about 100 times in 10 seconds?), and has absolutely nothing to do with the weird, Ripley's Believe It Or Not-type trivia that has made UberFacts one of the most powerful brands on Twitter.

"I really want to give people a variety of things to do," Sanchez says, pushing up the sleeves on his dark green leather jacket to reveal a small tattoo on his wrist that says "wealth and prosperity" in Chinese characters (the other wrist says "love" also in Chinese characters). The 23-year-old former dancer—he studied theater in high school and was among the hundreds of dancers who performed at the Microsoft Kinect launch in 2010 in Times Square—is wearing jeans and purple high-tops. His dark hair is cut in a thick Mohawk, the tips bleached the color of burnt caramel. "I want people to be able to do more than just read facts all day long."

Of course, the greater public's love of doing just that is what has made Sanchez one of the top 100 influencers on Twitter, as well as one of the richest. By spewing out tens of thousands of the most "unimportant things you’ll never need to know," as the UberFacts Twitter page cheekily pronounces, Sanchez has accumulated over 7 million followers since launching the account in 2009 when he was a bored college student at SUNY New Paltz. ("Total hippie town, drum circles. I only went there for a year.")