Social Influencers

Can they continue to shape American culture?


Social influencers are extending their reach in American society, filling roles ranging from entrepreneur to muse to thought leader. They are posting on Instagram and other social media to promote products — and to spur conversations on everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to fashion. The influencer industry is seeing explosive growth and is expected to be worth nearly $15 billion by 2022, while top influencers with followings of 1 million or more can receive $250,000 per post. But critics say the industry faces numerous challenges, including its reliance on algorithms, which can perpetuate bias; skepticism about corporations' commitment to racial and cultural diversity in a moment of racial reckoning; and ethical issues resulting from some influencers inflating the number of their followers. One ...

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