Mark Wahlberg’s Prayer App Seeks Followers on TikTok

Religious content has long been a mainstay on social media, where Christian influencers can garner millions of views. And much of the online reaction to Hallow’s TikTok ads has been positive. Still, Alex Jones, the chief executive of Hallow, said he was aware that some people were surprised to stumble upon the company’s ads on social media.

“We do not set any sophisticated or specific targeting,” wrote Mr. Jones, who is not to be confused with the conspiracy theorist of the same name who ran the Infowars website. “Each platform has its own algorithm for determining its feed. We know that there are some comments from folks who are surprised to see these posts in their feed. We certainly don’t want to force anything on anyone.”

Jessi Hood, a library circulation coordinator in Roanoke, Va., who doesn’t consider herself religious, was another person who came upon Mr. Wahlberg and Hallow on her For You page on TikTok. “I kind of roll my eyes half the time when I see him,” Ms. Hood, 24, said, noting the actor’s criminal past. (At 16, Mr. Wahlberg was convicted of assaulting a Vietnamese man and served 45 days in prison.)

Ms. Hood downloaded Hallow out of curiosity. “My first thought was just like, Oh, that is weird. This is an app that’s for prayers, and you have to pay for it?” she said. She posted a few screenshots from Hallow on X and then deleted it from her phone.

In his email, Mr. Jones, the Hallow executive, provided anonymous quotations from purported Hallow users glowing about the platform. For others who find Hallow ads on social media, there is less interest: “Opened tiktok to a video of Mark Wahlberg asking me to pray with him … and I cannot think of a thing I want to do less, actually,” Brandi Howard, 32, posted on X.

But given that Mr. Schneider visited the Hallow website and that Ms. Hood downloaded the app (only to delete it), the TikTok campaign seems to be piquing curiosity.


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