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Nash Grier makes a splash in Iceland for app promotion

ICYMI (That’s Internet-speak for “in case you missed it”): Nash Grier just got back from Iceland.

“It was amazing,” he told The Observer Monday. “We saw the northern lights, went to all these different hot springs, swam in the Blue Lagoon. We just did a bunch of crazy, insane stuff.” He’s trying not to take it for granted, he said, and knows “very few people get to do those kinds of things.”

The reason 16-year-old Nash got to? Nearly 5 million people follow him on Vine. That’s a social networking app in which people create 6-second, looping videos, then collect followers who watch and comment on those videos. A Davidson Day student, Nash is now the second-most-followed person on the app, which has about 40 million users, and he’s picked up more than a million new followers just in the past 30 days, according to the app-tracking rankzoo.com. (The No. 1 guy only picked up about half a million, so watch out, King Bach.)

His following is what led Nash to Iceland: He was promoting a new app, and got his travel (and a chaperon’s – in this case, his grandmother) paid for. He’s scheduled to embark on another trip, said his dad, Chad Grier, to the place of his choice.

“Traveling is a newfound love of mine,” Nash said. Chad has said he’s pulling for Bora Bora, so he can chaperone and enjoy the sun. Nash said he’s open to that choice, especially after chilly Iceland. “I’m trying to get somewhere tropical.”

The Observer first wrote about Nash in October, to mark his passing the 1 million mark on Vine. He said the story “blew up” his fame, leading to Vine leaps and bounds on Twitter (users may have noted “nashto800k” trending nationally as he topped 800,000 followers) and Instagram (where he’s hit 2 million).

That fame has opened doors for Nash, including product placement videos for Aquafina FlavorSplash, and this short-term deal. Chad Grier said the Iceland opportunity stemmed from Nash’s connection with fellow-Vine-famous Jerome Jarre, a Frenchman who does both funny and philosophic Vines, and is something of an elder statesman on that app.

Thousands came to an event in Iceland – so many that police had to be called.

“They’re calling it something like the ‘mall melee,’ ” Chad Grier said. “I can’t read the article because it’s written in Icelandic.”

Nash met the mayor of Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik and made a Vine with Jarre in the mayoral office, dancing in their underwear to a One Direction song. His description of Iceland via Twitter: “Cold. Nobody really understands me, but the food is good and it’s beautiful.”

Nash is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles this week, before heading to Nashville for the next MagCon Tour event, where social media personalities meet fans. Meanwhile, he’s keeping up with school online and via Skype, Chad Grier said, and working to sign with an agent. After that – TV? Movies? Who knows? said his dad. “His fan base is rabid.”

Ruebens: 704-358-5294; Twitter: @lruebens
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