Image the scene. You’re alone and you partner’s phone vibrates next to your fingers, with six unopened DMs glaring at you. Maybe there isn’t anything to know, but now you really want to make sure. Enter: the Loyalty Test.
Emerging in lockdown, the test involves asking someone to slide into your significant other’s DMs, to see if they’ll entertain a rando’s pick-up lines. Responding to a “hey, you up text” or passing on their number equals an instant fail. Conversely, if your partner ignores the message or says they’re in a relationship, they pass.
Currently, the loyalty test hashtag has 415.1 million views on TikTok, where content creators post their interactions with the partners of anxious lovers. In one video, a groom-to-be asks a TikTok user to test his fiancé, who at first entertains his compliments and advances, then passes. In another, captioned “testing your boyfriend's loyalty", a guy gets caught red-handed.
To cope with demand, many creators now charge for their tests. Some set a flat rate (as little as $1 – about £0.73 – in some cases), while for others, the highest bids win.
To find out how much money TikTok users are making from the loyalty test, VICE spoke to Xavier Long (AKA @iceyxavier1) a 20 year-old content creator from Yerkwood, Alabama. Long has posted 170 loyalty test videos since June, reaching over 800,000 views and 5.0 million likes across his videos.
VICE: Hello! Tell me: why did you start doing the loyalty test?
Xavier Long: This random guy DM’d me and asked me to do a loyalty test on his girlfriend. I made a video about it, but didn't post the part where I DM’d her – I just said “like this [video] for part two”. The first video got a lot of likes, so I posted part two, with her response. That's what made me start.
How did you slide into the first girl’s DMs?
I started by saying “hey [insert heart eyes emoji].” She instantly came back and said “hey, I have a boyfriend.” I made it clear I didn’t care about her boyfriend and told her “it would be a secret of ours”. Then, she sent me her number. I screenshot the message as soon as she failed and immediately stopped replying. Her boyfriend’s reaction was just a “thank you man.”
You kept doing loyalty tests from then on. How come?
The first video I made blew up. Then I made the second video, with the girl’s responses – that blew up even more. Other people kept hitting me up. Then people started offering to pay.
What’s the going rate for one of your loyalty tests?
I make at least $200 (£145) in a day. If people ask, I say I charge $10 (£7), but most of the time people say: “I got this amount of money, but if she fails, I’ll send you this amount of money”. Sometimes, I do the test for free, but with the number of DMs I get, why would I do one for free when people pay?
The most I got sent was $750 (£545). I guess he was rich? His girl failed, but he still sent it. Normally, people send me $100 (£73).
Do you know how much money you’ve made overall?
I’ve made a pretty good amount. I don’t have an exact number, but doing these tests has allowed me to stop working a nine-to-five. I know within the first week or so I made around $2,000 [around £1,453] and it was the quickest and easiest way I’ve ever made money.
How many DMs do you get in a day?
It's always 99 plus. It's too many. Always too many.
What’s your go-to line?
Nine times out of ten, I slide into their DMs, hit them with “Heyy”, with two y’s, right – “I saw you on my suggested and thought you were cute.”
Failing the test – how does that happen?
If a girl gives out any contact info without their boyfriend knowing, it’s a fail. But most guys tell me specifically what they want me to try and achieve.
How do you choose which people to do?
I go by the most interesting stories. Sometimes, someone will message and say “we've been going out for two years, I want to see if she cheated on me.” Or: “she's cheated on me before.” One dude hit me up like, “ayo, test my mom”. Some guy wanted me to test his sister, because he was friends with her boyfriend. That's your own blood, and you want to test her?
Gross. Any other stand out interactions?
The video about the mom turned out to be funny in the comments, with jokes like “You got a new stepdad bro.” People also hit me up for advice. One dude said, “I need a big brother” – somebody for guidance. That's pretty memorable.
What advice are people asking for?
Guys want to know if they should trust their girl, if she’s cheated before. Guys want to know how to get a girl. One dude asked if I could find out if a girl liked him.
Why do people take the test?
I feel like some people do it because they want their girlfriend to cheat. They want an easy way out. Some dudes are thinking about asking her to marry him. Another one, they’re thinking of asking her to move in or introducing her to their mom – stuff like that.
Apart from the money, is there anything else in it for you?
People in the comments of the videos write “Yo, dude keep doing what you're doing, [these videos are] good for people”. Once, after I sent a dude the screenshot of his girl passing, he said “Thanks, I'm taking her out to eat tonight.” That's nice. Sometimes, say a dude is spending a whole bunch of money on a girl, I can tell him he can stop wasting his money. I'm helping people, so I feel like it's a good thing in a way. Before the money, this is why I started doing this.