The art of the celebrity breakup post

When content creators start dating, the internet is our lifeline when it comes to knowing what’s happening in their relationship. From the cutesy comments they leave on each other’s Instagram posts to the cameos they make in each other’s content, we, as an audience, tend to eat it all up (whether we love or hate the couple). But, like all relationships, they either continue long enough for viewers to see the YouTube video titled “We’re Engaged” that costs $10,000 to put together, or they end. 

When a couple shares such a significant part of their life on the internet, it’s understandably tough to know how to announce that it’s over. What, if anything, do they owe their audience? How does one go about letting millions of people on the internet know their relationship has come to an end? 

With that being said, below is a list of the various ways influencers, content creators, and celebrities announce the end of their relationships. 

The shared Insta post 

I don’t know if this is what Instagram had in mind when it rolled out a new feature that allows users to collaboratively share a post with another account. Its original intentions were probably to allow creators who have teamed up on a project to share it without having to separately post, or for married friends to jointly share pictures of their newborn. 

Instead, celebrities and notable couples use the feature to share their decision to “consciously-uncouple.” An upgrade from the Notes app press release, these couples will write up a statement, create a plain background Insta post on Canva, and post it to their grid. With this feature, the former couple is putting on one last united front before ultimately parting ways, never to tag each in another photo again. 

Pros: Insta press releases are a very utilitarian way of announcing a breakup. No muss, no fuss, confusion. Before they even read the post, audiences can probably guess that the relationship is over. Plus it’s easy to share, so that’s great for analytics!

Cons: There is something so insincere about the Insta post. Knowing that the post was created collaboratively (maybe on Slack or something), by two people that are no longer together is a little odd. I wonder what the editing process is like between them. 

The teary breakup video

Most likely the creator’s most-viewed clip on their channel, the teary breakup video is what separates the boys from the men, so to speak. It’s one of those things that creators do that traditional celebrities could never. Usually, this is the move for creators who built at least some of their audience off of their relationship. The video seems so raw and vulnerable before you remember that someone had to sift through hours of film to produce the tight, 45-minute-long video viewers are blessed with. The tears, the somber tone, knowing that this is probably one of the last times viewers will see these two people in the same video ever again, the breakup video is simply art. 

You’ll be able to recognize it as a breakup video from the millions of views within seconds of posting. The comments section will be lamentations that, for once, the title of the video isn’t clickbait. And, of course, this is one of their few videos that isn’t monetized. But it doesn’t need to be. These videos get so many views that the loss in revenue from AdSense is more than made up for with the increase in views and subscribers. 

Pros: Seeing the exes together in the same video really pulls at our heartstrings and makes us truly sympathize with the pain they are going through. The end of the relationship is tragic, and there’s something honest and vulnerable about people sharing that with us on camera. 

Cons: These videos never fail to be the vaguest, yet emotionally gut-wrenching pieces of content on the internet. Right after assurances that there are no hard feelings and that the two will remain friends, later, we tend to get evidence of the contrary

Radio Silence

You’ll only find out about this breakup because of the hard investigative work of the couple’s audience. At first, you notice that they aren’t in each other’s content anymore. Then, the photos on Instagram start to disappear. The final nail in the coffin is the realization that this couple doesn’t follow each other on Instagram anymore. This can only mean one thing, right? Yes, your intuition is right. They broke up. 

This method is bold. It is clearly stating that just because these creators have decided to let us into their lives in some ways, they do not owe us anything, especially not an announcement or explanation of the end of their relationship. When it comes to these creators and how much they choose to share, it’s the old adage. We get what we get, and we don’t get upset. 

Years ago, influencers ​​Jay Alvarrez and Alexis Ren shocked the internet when all their social media behavior pointed toward a breakup. Cryptic tweets and deleted photos led their fans to believe that the couple, who amassed a combined following of 10 million, ended things. 

They did end things, and years later, Ren explained all of the details on the Call Her Daddy podcast, indicating that part of the silence on the matter in public was because, behind the scenes, the breakup was nasty, and this was partly due to the business nature of their relationship. “When the business of our relationship became bigger than the connection itself, that’s when it started to deteriorate,” she said on the podcast.  

Pros: It is admirable for a creator to erect boundaries with their audience. It’s a tough line for them to walk, giving so much of themselves in some ways, while protecting other parts of themselves, all while their audience is demanding more, more, more. If these creators can stick to their guns and not disclose, they can begin to shift their dynamic with their audience to be a much healthier one. 

Cons: It must be so hard for these creators to field thousands of questions and comments about their relationship. Imagine their excitement over a new brand deal with Hello Fresh, and the only comments they’re receiving are about their ex. 

At the end of the day, there is no right way to publicly break up with a partner. When creators bring their relationships into their content, they risk having to one day sit down with their partner and make a decision on how to break the news. And it’s not just their audience. Content creators are tasked with considering how their personal lives will affect their brand and their business. No matter how they choose, it’s important for us, as an audience, to give them a break. No matter how quiet or how public, authentic, or ingenuine they decide to share the news, going through break ups sucks, influencer or not.