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Behind the #gram: Xavier Lur

Social MediaInterviews

Creating content on Twitter seems like second nature for Xavier Lur.

You might have seen his viral tweets circulating on your feeds.

He has a knack for posting tweets that comprise beautifully taken photographs of the latest events or products trending in Singapore, making you feel like checking them out almost immediately.

Posted by @xavierlur, his tweets may look like sponsored posts, but they are not. Most of his tweets, which typically receive at least hundred or more retweets and likes, are actually based on his own research.

"Many people think that I'm sponsored, or I get media previews, but I don't. Even like the Starbucks drink, I spend my own money and buy the drink and take photos of it," said digital ninja Xavier Lur, who creates content on Twitter out of his own passion and pocket. 

During his free time, Xavier browses events posted on Facebook and Instagram, and listings in newspapers to find suitable content to post on Twitter. He even jots these event dates meticulously in his calendar. 

The 23-year-old said: "Usually when I see events, I would note down the date, and on the day itself I would go down and so called be the first person to cover [the event]." 

Whenever he heads out for a shoot, he usually brings a Canon 6D with a wide angle lens, a tripod and his laptop, so that he can work on the go. 

XAVIER HAS OVER 154,000 FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/DAVID YIP

Xavier, who is currently serving national service, started tweeting when he was 14. Initially, his tweets were mostly technology-related, such as short commentaries about the latest gadgets.  

At 18, he developed a keen interest in creating content on Twitter while working at advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather, during his polytechnic days. 

"My main job was to create content on digital platforms for brands like Singtel, Nestlé, Milo and BMW. Part of my job was also to take some photos for clients," said the Ngee Ann Polytechnic graduate.

To find out how the tech-guru creates the newsworthy content you see on his Twitter, Youth.SG joined him for his shoot at Artbox Singapore on Apr 14. 

Throughout the shoot, Xavier appeared focused and clearly knew the type of shots he wanted. 

He explained: "I would usually take four photos in a tweet, and they comprise an exterior shot of the place, interior, close up, and a shot that shows the details [name, location, duration, or price for food]." 

XAVIER USING HIS PHONE TO FRAME HIS SHOT OF ARTBOX SINGAPORE. 
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/DAVID YIP

Despite the packed crowd at the venue, nothing seemed to distract his sharp pair of eyes. Xavier found ways to make his photographs look stunning by exploring with different angles and taking mood shots

Considering how most of his followers are youths, how does he find and create content that appeals to them? 

The mass communication graduate said: "I would find content that appeal to myself. I would be in their shoes and would want to retweet or share that tweet with my friends. I would usually find content that is very interesting."

Xavier's favourite and also the most well-received tweet to date was the MILO energy cubes tweet, which garnered over 17,000 retweets.

He said: "While I did expect the response to be good, I didn't expect it to be so overwhelming."

He shared that he went through a few hurdles to get the MILO cubes on his hands, as they are were only available in the United Kingdom and African countries. 

He added: "I had to ask around on Carousell to see who has stock for the MILO cubes at that moment and is able to sell them to me as soon as possible. Many of the Carousell listings back then were pre-orders and buyers had to wait for two weeks."

Besides posting content almost daily, Xavier occasionally interacts with his followers on Twitter. 

He said: "I made quite a number of Twitter friends. They would reply [to my tweets], then I feel very bad if I don't respond back, so sometimes I just respond and follow back. Sometimes we would just direct message each other."

XAVIER USUALLY EDITS AND POSTS HIS PHOTOS ON TWITTER WITHIN ONE HOUR.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/DAVID YIP

Can we expect more of such captivating tweets from Xavier in the long term?

Xavier said hesitantly: "I guess so?" 

Albeit his love for creating content on Twitter, he does not plan to turn his hobby into a full-time job as he is planning to venture into the IT industry. 

"When school starts, I might not tweet that much, because I don't have so much time to go out and take photos, so it really depends," added Xavier, who will be studying information systems at Singapore Management University in August. 

This is part six of Behind the #gram, a series on Instagram influencers. In this series:

1. Ng Li Tying of The Spatula and The Pen

2. Stanley Tan of Windflower Florist

3. Yafiq and Yais Yusman

4. Leonard Giam


BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDITS: YOUTH.SG/DAVID YIP