Not only is an “influencer” an increasingly powerful role in the digital age, but it’s also become a desirable career goal for many young people – an enjoyable way to gain international fame and a gateway to financial success. A survey of Instagram influencers, for instance, found that those with over a million followers make an average of £12,000 (around $15,000) per month.
Much of this wealth, of course, is unlocked by entering into partnerships with various brands – which then raises all manner of questions about some influencers’ authenticity. Is their praise for certain products genuine, or simply because they’ve been paid for their endorsement?
Celebrity cachet can send engagement stratospheric (Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylie Jenner and Selina Gomez all have hundreds of millions of followers) but previous unknowns like Lele Pons, Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae have also successfully built their follower count to around the 50 million mark – allowing them to charge (according to some estimates) north of $100,000 per post.
This highly visible end of the influencer market may occasionally be materialistic and superficial, but it’s generally frothy, inoffensive fun. There are some hugely popular figures on social media, however, whose views and beliefs aren’t what most parents would prefer their child was exposed to.
This guide highlights some of the potential risks around influencer culture.
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