What Is The Influencer Bubble And Is It In Danger Of Popping?
With the ever-increasing amount of social media apps, it has never been easier to become an influencer. But with this pseudo-celebrity status, does one start to lose their own touch with reality? Allow me to inform you about the influencer bubble and its quickly diminishing stability.
The Influencer Bubble
Now, some of you may be asking, what exactly is the influencer bubble? As coined by Sakshi Goel on The Social Comment, it is described as a “new method and in the trend of marketing where the main objective is to influence masses with help of key leaders or in other words individuals who are famous and hold some recognition among the youth and people are following so that the advertisement process of a particular brand can be done easily.”
Essentially, certain companies would look to people like Kylie Jenner or Emma Chamberlain in order to promote certain products they have. Influencers have a specific set of followers, all of whom will most likely want to use what they use. So basically, this ‘bubble’ is the boundaries of how far their influences reach.
However, with the ever-changing times, it now appears as though the bubble is in danger of popping. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Over exposure
As I mentioned previously, the world is flushed nowadays with a multitude of content platforms, all of which reach up to millions of people. While the apps may be the very reason these people have become famous, it can also possibly be their very own downfall.
Whereas before a company may use a specific TikToker to promote their business, it is just as easy to make their own funny video presenting their product without having to pay the influencer.
People are subject to a multitude of ads every day, and sometimes there is no specific rhyme or reason why one may catch their attention. It’s not always necessary for an influencer to be involved.
2. Reliability of the influencer
Followers have learned that they can’t completely trust their favorite social media figures’ words when it comes to certain products. An influencer may promote a product they wouldn’t personally purchase because it’s their job to do so.
Perhaps the largest example of such an issue came from the complete failure of Fyre Festival. Billy Mcfarland essentially spent the entirety of his funding to pay influencers like Kendall Jenner to promote his event, leaving plenty flocking to a festival that didn’t even exist.
Now, many consumers are much wiser and more careful with their money, and how much they trust the word of someone whose main income is to promote whatever they can to their gullible followers. The admiration of the aesthetic of an influencer may keep their followers around, but it won’t make them any more trustworthy.
3. Lack of accountability
As we have seen countless times in media, many people who have gained stardom believe that their own fame somehow exempts them from disciplinary measures from every day life. While this may have been somewhat true in the past, a new age of activism among the consumers has caused a larger amount of people to demand their idols be held accountable for their own pitfalls.
Similar to the Fyre Festival, a youtuber named Tana Mongeau decided to shun a large influencer gathering called VidCon in favor of creating her own event- TanaCon (clever right?).
Her main appeal was that TanaCon was going to be much cheaper than VidCon but still just as awesome. As her influencer bubble was still fairly large, many believed her at her word, despite zero evidence for the claim. As some might have guessed, the day came and saw a dangerous lack of space, resources, and overall compassion towards the well-being of her own fans.
With an apology, things seemed to have gone back on track for Tana. Some may still watch her videos solely for the entertainment of her shenanigans, many acknowledge that anything Tana may be involved in is sure to be underprepared and maybe even dangerous. Thus, her influencer bubble is easily affected now, like many influencers today.
Cancel culture saves the day?
So, now the influencer bubble is that much more fragile, and that is mostly thanks to a little something called “cancel culture”.
Now, everyone is desperate to be an activist and ‘woke’, so any mistakes made by someone in the public eye can cause a huge amount of uproar. And that’s a good thing right?
Not really. We have seen how Cancel Culture and the assumption of the general public can be incredibly dangerous to the livelihood of those who, although maybe famous, are still human beings with feelings and fears.
So how do we find a balance? We want to hold our influencers accountable, but we don’t want to start witch hunts either. Where is the happy medium?
Perhaps the most important thing to do is to stay away from mob mentality. While one should be aware of the influencer bubble, and perhaps even cautious of it, we should also refrain from popping the bubble and going on a rampage at the first whisper of issues.
Do your research, and remember that although you may not have the eyes of the world on you like an influencer, you also need to hold yourself accountable.
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