Professional influencers are everywhere; an entire economy hinges on the idea that influence can be quantified in the form of likes, shares and saves. About a decade ago, our social media feeds were clogged with little more than vacation photographs, cats and the occasional outpouring of feelings. Back then, people on Facebook or Twitter weren’t considering ways to turn those daily updates into cash, clout or a career.
Now, you are more likely to be on Instagram and to see someone endorsing a product, telling you how not to style your trousers, or giving you mental health advice. And to teach aspiring influencers to create this content, gain followers and land brand partnerships are “influencer-mentors” who cover everything from dialogue delivery and camerawork to managing trolls.
These are the coaching centres of the creator economy and the teachers are established influencers or digital marketing agencies. We go behind the scenes to find out how these “schools” coach newer entrants to build their brand, social media capital and influence. In a way, the increase in the popularity and power of influencers is an indicator of where our economy is going. As glamorous as an influencer’s life may seem, it is stressful to constantly manage a following. But for the many who face an uncertain job market, this seems a far more certain route to fame and money with some semblance of independence and control over one’s future. And as long as we have the appetite for content, influencers will keep churning it out.
This plethora of images and information that we consume endlessly is also something Rohit Brijnath ponders on in his column. The sports lover, he writes, always wants more, the difference is that “skill never gets tiring”. Our monthly column on world cinema also reflects on packed, busy frames where something is happening all the time as it takes a look at the Japanese film Battles Without Honor And Humanity. And to add further to your list of entertainment options, our pages have much to recommend that you can do, read, eat, buy and watch this weekend.
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