The Internet has the power to propel just about anyone to fame and one man is banking on that celebrity. Jerome Jarre went from arriving in New York City without a home, to becoming one of the hottest acts on the Internet, reports CBS News correspondent Gigi Stone Woods.
The social media site Vine launched in 2013 and is used to post short videos. While that may not seem like much, a young man from France has made the most of that time.
Jarre has mastered a 21st-century art: the ability to delight an audience in just six seconds. His online videos on Vine have been viewed more than 1 billion times. They even feature cameos from Hollywood celebrities and he can't walk down the street without being stopped by teenage girls and guys. They ask for hugs and, of course, selfies.
"I'm lucky that they're behaving with me as friends, so I really feel like they are this big group of friends," Jarre said
But a year ago, Jarre was homeless, sleeping on an office floor. He came to New York after dropping out of college in France with nothing but $400 in his pocket and started shooting Vines. He soon discovered the funnier the video, the more viewers he got.
"He did what so many immigrants have done before. He arrived in New York City with no money, nowhere to live, no job," New York Times tech columnist Nick Bilton said. "But what was different about him was he had this device in his hand and a front facing camera and was able to reach millions of people with that."
Bilton said Jarre has managed to connect with young people notorious for their short attention spans, ones that last about six seconds.
"What they do is maybe they're watching television, but also have a hand on phone, and they're texting and tweeting," Bilton said. "When they are paying attention on a mobile device, the brands have an opportunity to reach them."
So big companies aiming to stay relevant with millennials started collaborating with Jarre -- from Samsung to General Electric.
"When the brand provides something that can make your content awesome and entertain your audience, you should work with them," Jarre said. "If it's just selling products, I am not interested."
Jarre claims he passed up a $1 million offer to promote a food product because he believed it was unhealthy. He wouldn't tell us how much companies pay him to create Vines for them, but he does now have a home -- a nice one.
And despite the momentous success, Jarre said there's no secret to his videos.
"I took the decision that everything I would post would be positive," he said. "If you say, 'Ahh, I feel terrible today,' and you spread that to the eyes and ears of millions of people, that's not good."
Studies show that a branded Vine is four times more likely to be seen than your average branded video, so Fortune 500 companies like Target and Walmart are creating their own -- all part of the fragmented new way media is consumed.