Social Media and the Celebrity Influence That Shapes It

Social media is a one stop shop for celebrities to interact with their fans and show off their personality. On one end, the average person would do anything to take a peek into a star’s lavish life: their closets filled with designer clothes and shoes, their exquisitely designed homes, and their parties with other A-list celebrities. On the other end however, celebrities want their social media accounts to reflect how they’re “just like us.” Either way, social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter serve one universal purpose – to connect.

Celebrities’ posts fit into just about every category. Chrissy Teigen making dinner or DJ Khaled playing with his son, Asahd, are those relatable posts, mentioned earlier. Kylie Jenner’s constant Instagram stories about her makeup line, Kylie Cosmetics, are a prime example of how social media can serve as a stage for advertising, to promote products or new movies or music. However, promoting business isn’t the end of it; some use their extensive follower reach to its full potential by spreading their ideas and promoting important causes. The perfect example of this is Emma Watson. Her Instagram account reflects her impressive push for women’s equality and her involvement with the “Time’s Up” campaign, both educating and inspiring her followers and fans.

Social media and celebrities have always had a relationship where both parties are equal.  In a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” fashion, social media platforms give celebrities a way to share their lives and celebrities give social media platforms more users. This give and take relationship has always been the norm.

The large migration of influencers, artists, and actors to Instagram and Snapchat, has required these platforms to adapt. Blue checkmarks on Instagram, a feature already seen on Twitter, and emojis next to names on Snapchat, both signify “verified users”, a feature that needed to be implemented in order to make sure people couldn’t create fake accounts of celebrities or companies. Metrics also became a huge part of the deal, giving social media influencers and businesses a look into the impact that their posts have on their followers, engagement levels, and essentially, what works and what doesn’t. These were visible via new analytics tools that gave users a look at demographics, new followers, view time, popularity with certain age ranges, and more.

Despite the adjustments that social media platforms have made in the past few years to accommodate celebs looking to boost their following, promote their projects, and express themselves, the equation is not as balanced as it seems. Recently, Kylie Jenner posted the following tweet:

The tweet was sparked by the recent interface changes and redesign that Snapchat made, angering many of its users. Kylie’s tweet alone, led to a $1 billion-plus drop in the market value of Snap Inc. Just a few words had a HUGE impact on a company of Snapchat’s stature. This is a prime example of the switch in dynamics. Celebrities now have the upper hand. If apps don’t pay attention to their needs, they can bring the whole thing down, or at least cause quite the dent in users and revenue, because at the end of the day, there will always be another social media app to switch over to.

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