Instagram stars Jack Carter & Nathan Kriis - Supplied
Instagram stars Jack Carter & Nathan Kriis - Supplied

They have more than 185,000 Instagram followers between them, thousands of Snapchat disciples, a burgeoning YouTube career and yet when you sit down and first meet this social media couple you get the feeling you’re sitting down chatting with your best mates.

Jack and Nathan, as they are now known on YouTube, are part of the new gay rat pack of social media in Australia. Ratpack is an extreme word for two incredibly lovely, relaxed guys, but they spearhead the new breed of twenty-something gay men that have taken Instagram by storm.

Although, as an outsider looking in, it would be easy to suggest they spend all of their waking hours on Instagram and Snapchat, taking the perfect selfie, visiting the most remote and secluded scenery to take their next big picture and chasing followers from the Gold Coast right around the world, but the reality is far different.

Nathan Kriis 22 and Jack Carter 23, both from the Gold Coast, have been a couple for about 16 months after they met through social media. Both have completed university degrees and now have 9 to 5 jobs. Nathan is also doing his Masters and Jack is working as an aerialist dancer when he can.

Instagram Beginnings

Even though this doesn’t sound like social media whores, their new online followings are a direct result of taking Instagram seriously and appealing to a fan base eager for hot, sexy, good looking guys.

“Instagram kind of happened for me just out of nowhere really,” explained Nathan as he relaxed into the interview and started recalling why he got into the social mobile app.

“I didn’t have a lot of friends on the Gold Coast at all. Pretty much only the people I worked with and one day I decided I wanted to go out and change something about my life so I joined a gym and I went and got my septum pierced and I took a selfie, the first selfie that I’d ever taken.”

Nathan's first Instagram picture. At that stage he only had 350 followers - Supplied
Nathan’s first Instagram picture. At that stage, he only had 340 followers – Supplied

“I think at the time I had about 340 followers, all just facebook friends, and the photo reached 45 likes then over the weeks just kept growing in likes, it got to 60 at one point and so from there I knew I had to keep posting photos that people like.

“It then kept growing, I made some friends off of it, now my closest friends and yeah it’s really set me up to have a really, really nice life.

“I kinda have Instagram to thank for so much of that, so that’s kind of sweet.”

For Jack, social media and Instagram, in particular, had never been a major part of his life and even today he likes the picture composing a lot more than the likes and follows.

“Yeah I didn’t really have that big of an interest in it which was funny,” explained Jack.

“I had friends who were becoming insta-famous but I didn’t see the interest in it at all.”

The boys met through Instagram after some mutual friends suggested they meet, but it wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, if it wasn’t for another social app Snapchat, they may have never even got together.

Jack performing as an aerialist as part of his dancing career which he continues with on a part time basis - Supplied
Jack performing as an aerialist as part of his dancing career which he continues with on a part time basis – Supplied

They play up the fact that they are not the same person, have different personalities and don’t get along all the time.

“He remembers that date we met, I just remember it was November,” laughs Jack.

Nathan interjects “It was November 28, 2014.”

“We don’t technically live together but I can’t tell you the last time we spent a night apart. Some say sweet, some say too much,” laughed Nathan.

“We are both quite big personalities and quite stubborn so that’s a big challenge in itself but it’s interesting I wouldn’t want to be with someone who was submissive and a push over so it causes fights, but it’s the best,” said Jack.

Nathan explains “Fights are normally about the dumbest things but because we are both so “we won’t be wrong” it will just last and then one of us finally caves in and then we just move on.”

“We are not a kissy, kissy couple in real life. I feel like being intimate and being all over each other is for private and we don’t want to be one of those couples that people go ‘oh your so beautiful bae'”.

A couple selfie.
A couple selfie.

The Chase for Followers

Nathan is now one of Australia’s most popular gay Instagrammers with 127,000 followers and growing.

Instagram.com/nathankriis
Instagram.com/nathankriis

Jack has also increased his followers to more than 55,000, but as Nathan suggested: “I carried Jack to what he is now”.

Instagram.com/theonejackwade
Instagram.com/theonejackwade

“I love social media,” Nathan claimed with a sense of pride.

“I really like how the internet and everything have happened for us because it’s kinda given everyone an equal playing field. I would’ve never ever thought that anyone would ever know my name or anyone would ever want to follow me.”

“For us it’s always happened organically and that’s been really nice. We definitely do have people around us who make it a big thing to try and get followers and they buy them, people accuse us all the time of buying followers.

“We are always under the belief that if it ever gets to the point we are so unhappy with the way its growing and if we were ever going to the point of buying followers then it’s turned into something we don’t want it to be.

Nathan in selfie mode.
Nathan in selfie mode.

“I don’t have the money to spend on buying followers, like if I’m buying followers I’d be better off buying clothes, I’ve been wearing the same shirt for six years,” Nathan laughed.

Jack continued “The only issue is when people take it a little too far, seriously, you have to understand that social media is just an online platform, that it isn’t real life and we know so many people, and we do it ourselves, we create this perception of our lives that is twisted a little bit, I mean someone who didn’t know us would think we don’t have jobs and all we do is travel and all we do is go to these nice locations to get photos when in real life we work
40 hours a week and that’s it.”

“There was a moment a few months ago where I was at 30,000 and I was growing about a 1,000 a week and I looked at it and I was like I have to start putting effort into this and I actually messaged Nathan at work and I said “I think I want to put in effort into Instagram and make it a thing” and I kind of turned my Instagram around.

“I know Nathan’s is all about selfies and all about taking photos of him and mine’s more about taking photos with colour and in different locations and that’s kinda what I want.

“The other day we were walking around and getting lunch and there was a white wall and I had a white shirt on I wanna get a pink ice cream, I didn’t even like the ice cream, in fact, it was the worst ice cream in the world, I ate it but I just got it and held the ice cream there and just took the photo and its just stuff like that in everyday life now I start to see things where I could take a photo.”

Jack's pink ice-cream instagram post
Jack’s pink ice-cream Instagram post

As Instagram continues to bring them more followers and joy, their new passion is Youtube and this time they are joining forces to take on the new challenge.

Their story continues next week. Signup to the Eikon newsletter so you don’t miss it.