Influencer | 18th January 2022 | Virtual Wire
The concept of “influence” or influencer has been around for decades. But influencers and influencing as a career path is a strictly 21st century phenomena.
With social media becoming a prominent part of our daily lives starting from the early 00s, it was only a matter of time a new job sector would emerge. We can really see a boom of bloggers and YouTubers starting from the year 2009. What started as a hobby for these people became an extraordinarily successful career path. And with the creation of one of the largest social media sites today with over 1.3 billion users Instagram, influencing the masses as a job has become even more of a prominent career plan.
The topics and interest areas of influencers today range from beauty and lifestyle to gaming, sports to movie and music commentary. This wide range provides the content creators with endless amounts of opportunities. And as their main source of income, we can see brand sponsorships. Using well-known people, celebrities to advertise and promote a product is not a new concept. Reaching their audiences through these collaborations. Starting from 18th century with people who were close vicinity of royals that marketed their brand as having the “royal approval”. And in the 1980s with the endorsement made by Michael Jordan for Nike.
So, considering the fact that these influencers have platforms with large amounts of audiences, it is no surprise that as a next step, companies and brands make sponsorship agreements with them. Creating a new sector called Social Media Marketing. This amount of money and having influence over large platforms can be tricky for an individual. One might not know how to handle this especially if this success has been stated when this individual was in their teen years or even childhood.
People can lose touch with reality and what it means to be a “regular” person rather than a social media phenomenon. Throughout the years the influencer culture has been accused and exposed as getting more and more toxic with every passing year. Numbers and analytics becoming the measurement for success and self-worth. We are able to see this as an actual measurement in the way influencers are categorized by the number of followers they have; Mega- influencers, macro-influencers, micro-influencers and nano-influencers.