Photo: Sadao Turner/Ryan Seacrest Enterprises

By Marc Inocencio

If you haven’t heard of Tyler Oakley, well then, you’re clearly not spending enough time on the Internet.

The social media personality, a Michigan transplant to Los Angeles, entered the digital space in 2007 and recruited a strong following with a mélange of goofy and pop culture-influenced YouTube videos, and chiefly, with his infectious, affable disposition. Now boasting over 7 million subscribers, half a billion hits, and a collection of over 300 hundred clips, Tyler is now a champion of the online arena and possesses one of the most influential voices of the digital age.

Through his videos, Tyler, an LGBTQ+ rights activist and The Trevor Project advocate, encouraged people around the world to come out of the closet and embrace their sexuality, including Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin. His social influence even landed him a partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama to create a video on the importance of higher education, as well as a meeting with President Barack Obama to strategize ways to use the Internet to connect with a younger audience.

“The idea of one of the most powerful people in the world turning to us for that type of consulting, I was just like, ‘This is such a cool moment,'” he told On Air with Ryan Seacrest in-studio on Thursday, which so happens to be Spirit Day. “Not just for me, not just for the audience, but for like Team Internet as a whole. It just felt like we’re doing something.”

On October 20, he will add book author to his growing list of monikers (he is also noted as a professional fangirl). His hotly-anticipated debut novel Binge will include a collection of stories he never shared online due to their complexity: from negotiating a standoff with a White House official to crashing his car in front of his entire high school.

“The book is a collection of stories that I’ve never told in videos,” he said. “It’s embarrassing, and fun, and funny, and sad, and the highs and the lows, and it’s everything that I’ve always wanted to tell people but videos were not the right medium … When I wanted to talk about those things, a video felt a little informal.”

Tyler will sign copies of his book at the Barnes & Noble located at the Grove in Los Angeles on October 28. For information on how to attend the signing, head over to Barnes & Noble here.

Photo: Sadao Turner/Ryan Seacrest Enterprises