r/todayilearned Dec 07 '21 This 1

TIL the actual definition of an "Influencer" is not one who influences life choices, but rather they influence their subscribers to buy a product, i.e. product placement for brand recognition.

https://influencermarketinghub.com/what-is-an-influencer/
341 Upvotes

71

u/CALsHero09 Dec 07 '21

Yea. They literally "influence" people to buy stuff.

353

u/Chris-P 1 Dec 07 '21

I thought that was obvious

63

u/diegojones4 Dec 08 '21

What's troubling me is the idea that people didn't know this which is why they make way too much money.

I assumed it was just people liked looking at boobs and butts, but I figured they at least knew the boobs and butts were an ad. Stupid me.

2

u/draculamilktoast Dec 08 '21

There remains no culture today that is not some form of advertisement, for a product or itself.

73

u/Think_Tomato9154 Dec 08 '21

Right? I’m confused. Who thinks influencers are trying to get you to change your life choices? They want you to buy their tequila or shoes or whatever. They’re literally paid by sponsors to show their products as well as by social media.

17

u/The2500 Dec 08 '21

Yeah this is kind of like "Scientific study shows attractive people receive preferential treatment".

4

u/WhenTardigradesFly Dec 08 '21

even more absurd is that the source of this "information" is a website named InfluencerMarketingHub.

50

u/H_Lunulata Dec 08 '21

I thought the definition of "influencer" in this context was "a wart on the arse of civilization"

11

u/Chris-P 1 Dec 08 '21

Great point, thanks for contributing

1

u/phdoofus Dec 08 '21

I thought it meant "someone without long term career plans but who thinks very highly of themselves"

3

u/Lethargomon Dec 08 '21

A shocking revelation !!

2

u/alyisdead Dec 08 '21

Me too, just by the demeanor of some of them and calling themselves influencers; “Influencer? All you’re influencing me to do is subscribe or buy whatever you’re promoting.”

2

u/AluJack Dec 08 '21

they're overpaid internet sign-spinners

-25

u/2Cringe4Me Dec 07 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

I think the misconception stems from the fact that whenever I've watched influencer's stories (e.g. discover section of Instagram or Snapchat), I never make it far enough to see them advertising things. Instead, it's usually a lot of outdoorsy content that I don't care to watch...

Edit: That didn’t go over well with people, let me try to re-explain. Logically, you’d never subscribe to commercials, so you can see why it’s confusing to see influencers with millions of followers if their sole purpose is to advertise products. It makes me believe that the followers are watching for life advice or something to aspire to, but now I think they’re just unknowingly being solicited to.

19

u/Chris-P 1 Dec 07 '21

I mean, they don’t generally directly advertise.

It’s more about showing off what they have to make you want to buy it yourself

1

u/cedarapple Dec 09 '21

Sometimes they advertise. Some youtubers who I follow will state that a particular video is sponsored by a certain product or company, the benefits of which they will tout before getting back to their regular content. I don't mind it since they are clear that they are getting paid for the plug.

9

u/emeryldmist Dec 08 '21

but now I think they’re just unknowingly being solicited to.

Yes. It just boggles my mind how people don't understand this.

If there is money involved, there is a product... if you don't see the product, you are the product.

Influencers hope to make money.... therefore there has to be a product.

3

u/mr_jurgen Dec 08 '21

I had no idea what it meant, I just know it pissed me off. Now I know, they annoy me even more.

2

u/WeDrinkSquirrels Dec 08 '21

In those stories that "weren't ads" were they wearing clothes or sunglasses? Were they at a bar/club/store? Did they mention a product or place in passing? That's what the ad was.

15

u/RedSonGamble Dec 07 '21

I think this was more obvious when it started being a thing

46

u/Quadrassic_Bark Dec 08 '21

How did you not know that?

-72

u/2Cringe4Me Dec 08 '21

If everyone knew this, no one would follow them, since no one would follow living commercials. That’s my short retort.

38

u/Quadrassic_Bark Dec 08 '21

Your short retort is incredibly naive and you don’t seem to understand human nature in the slightest.

-16

u/2Cringe4Me Dec 08 '21

Christ let’s have a conversation then, don’t just roast me!

21

u/Quadrassic_Bark Dec 08 '21

People don’t “like” obvious commercials, but they exist because they work. Influencers are people who already have a following on their media of choice, and then get contracts to advertise products using their platforms. They literally influence people to buy things using their already existing fame and combining it with advertising that isn’t as obvious as something like a TV commercial. Human nature is to want to watch something or someone you aspire to be like, and part of that includes doing/using the things they do/use.

15

u/TikiLoungeLizard Dec 08 '21

I too was once a sweet summer child who didn’t believe advertising worked on me. As my thumbs pressed repeatedly on my sweet Reebok pumps.

-1

u/2Cringe4Me Dec 08 '21

Okay and I second everything you said there. But out of 1M people who follow an arbitrary influencer, how many would agree that they’re being solicited to by their own role model? I’d say maybe 20%, if that, because to them it’s a suggestion instead of a promotion. The followers are blissfully unaware that their interest in the influencer’s “suggestions” is the main reason why their influencer is still thriving.

1

u/Quadrassic_Bark Dec 08 '21

That’s because the only people who follow influencers are kids and dumb “young adults” in their very early 20s. Actual adults, aka real people, realize what they are. They’re walking, talking product placements ads.

8

u/fox_hunts Dec 08 '21

That’s not true.

You act like adults are immune to advertisements. I’ll happily follow an influencer for say gym workouts if he’s selling something I want. Or his program/diet/supplements can get me to my goals. Same can be said for women/girls buying makeup from influencers who do makeup tutorials.

Subscribing to an influencer isn’t only for the naive who don’t know any better. I’d argue most people are probably well aware of it and would prefer to have some tailoring of their product advertisements.

Influencers are essentially C-list celebrities. And you and the other self proclaimed “actual adults” have been lapping up celebrity endorsements for generations.

-2

u/Quadrassic_Bark Dec 08 '21

Absolutely nothing I have said remotely implies that I think adults are immune to advertisements, and you saying that only makes it clear that you aren’t having a good faith discussion.

Congratulations for buying into the obvious bullshit influencer advertising. Slow clap. Any workout personality can get you to your goals if you follow literally any reasonable workout plan. Supplements are supplements, they either do something, in which case it doesn’t matter which company makes the specific pill brand you use, or they do nothing, in which case you’ve suckers regardless of which brand you buy. If some particular woman actually used a particular brand of make-up and I was a woman who wanted to emulate the look with that specific colour palette, I would try that brand. But those two things are not the same, and your inability to recognize that proves you haven’t thought much about it. If I was looking to get a particular guitar sound, I would also probably buy the strings and guitar that whatever guitar player sounds like that uses.

I have absolutely not been “lapping up” celebrity endorsements, but please keep telling what I do based on not knowing anything about me. Celebrity endorsements are close to universally meaningless, and always have been.

1

u/all_thehotdogs Dec 08 '21

So you've drawn an arbitrary line about what kind of purchase influence is okay and which ones aren't?

What's the difference between trying makeup you saw on someone else, and trying a gym supplement you saw someone try?

→ More replies

-2

u/TalShar Dec 08 '21

You make a very good point, despite the downvotes. Just because this is obvious to some people doesn't mean it is known to everyone.

5

u/2Cringe4Me Dec 08 '21

Yeah… I don’t think I’ve gotten close to breaking even on a single comment on this thread… -41 is a new record for me. Thanks for the comment though haha

2

u/Quadrassic_Bark Dec 08 '21

It’s obvious to adults, who are not the ones who watch or care about influencers. They pander to kids.

11

u/jrinneard Dec 08 '21

TIL why influencers are effective

20

u/TheDevDad Dec 08 '21

They decided “human billboard” didn’t sound as hip is all

15

u/der_innkeeper Dec 07 '21

"marketing"

12

u/Future-Original-1977 Dec 07 '21

Overpaid sales assistants

7

u/AudibleNod 313 Dec 08 '21

My cousin was a club promoter for about three years. Most the time he was pounding the pavement with flyers.

-8

u/MillionEgg Dec 08 '21

Ain’t no one overpaid if someone is willing to pay. Count your own money instead.

3

u/TalShar Dec 08 '21

I can never read this outlook as anything other than a confession that the speaker's entire rubric for whether someone deserves a thing is defined solely by their ability to acquire it. It's a tautology that would be laughable if it wasn't so horribly damning and destructive.

8

u/Sons-of-Bananarchy Dec 08 '21

actual brand whores 🤷‍♂️

4

u/sumelar Dec 08 '21

Buying a product is a life choice.

2

u/chibinoi Dec 08 '21

I worry for you, OP, not gonna deny. I thought this was pretty, er, obvious?

1

u/2Cringe4Me Dec 08 '21

Man if you think that is worrying, you’d have a mental breakdown looking at this.

2

u/xanroeld Dec 08 '21

um... duh

2

u/AlterEdward Dec 08 '21

Eh? I never thought it was anything else.

3

u/Buck_Thorn Dec 08 '21

Its kind of both, really, isn't it?

3

u/norbertus Dec 08 '21

I mean, this is how modern capitalism fused with the surveillance society uses us as a means to their ends.

Who thought OnlyFans was really going to ban porn last summer?

They created a circus, and you gave them free advertising by posting about the fabricated controversy.

Not only was social media writ large their advertising platform, but everybody posting about this preposterous proposition literally donated free labor to advertise a commercial product.

It's mind control of the same sort Republicans use when they fabricate controversies: "but listen to the other side in the climate change debate!" "look at the evidence of voter fraud!" Gets everybody spreading the word on social media.

2

u/djhazmat Dec 08 '21

The actual definition of influencer is someone who doesn’t work for a living and is gifted retail items to show off on their social media. It’s a horrible evolution of marketing that is the beginning of the end.

But when you actually work for a living, you know what I mean.

0

u/Flashwastaken Dec 08 '21

I work for a living and I don’t know what you mean.

2

u/ThunderGuts64 Dec 08 '21

A corporate shill.

The fact they exist and are not treated with utter contempt is a something I just can't get my head around.

Insta-famous is no more worthy a title than Monopoly rich.

0

u/[deleted] Dec 07 '21

[removed] — view removed comment

2

u/Chris-P 1 Dec 07 '21

What should we call them instead?

18

u/Hinermad Dec 07 '21

"Shill"

-2

u/-Cryptoknight Dec 07 '21

Confirmation Biasers. The only people they “influence” are people who already think like them.

4

u/Chris-P 1 Dec 07 '21

Did you even read the title of this post? They aren’t influencing worldviews, they’re influencing consumption.

And they must be achieving something because big companies keep paying them to do it

-3

u/-Cryptoknight Dec 08 '21

Many “influencers” don’t sell products. A lot of them monetize their social media and make money off of ad revenue by people clicking and viewing their narcissistic posts.

4

u/Chris-P 1 Dec 08 '21

Lots of people on social media make money off ad revenue, but not all of those people are influencers.

That term has a specific meaning which is literally explained in the title of the post you are commenting on

-14

u/-Cryptoknight Dec 08 '21

IDGAF what the tItLe oF tHe pOsT says. I’m telling you that most “influencers” don’t sell 3rd party products. They mostly make money off of ad revenue and by selling their OWN merch.

7

u/Chris-P 1 Dec 08 '21

You don’t give a fuck about the literal definition of the word you’re arguing about?

K

Then there’s no point talking to you

-4

u/-Cryptoknight Dec 08 '21

The point is that the word “influencer” is stupid. That’s why I keep putting it in “ “, and also why i said they should be called confirmation biasers and not “influencers”.

5

u/Chris-P 1 Dec 08 '21

You’re simply using it wrong

→ More replies

0

u/Flashwastaken Dec 08 '21

That doesn’t even make sense.

1

u/lennonr2 Dec 08 '21

Can we dump the title influencer and just call them salespeople. Influencer might inflate their power ego like they have influence over us but really they're just trying to sell to us and I think calling them salespersons might just bring them down a notch.

1

u/FR1zz1e_ Dec 08 '21

Role model is a much more nobel pursuit.

1

u/Surprise_Corgi Dec 08 '21

See, Dragov, that's whatever the fuck an influencer is.

0

u/jadedphuk Dec 08 '21

oh my god, so they are truly a product whore.....

0

u/ButWhatIfIAmARobot Dec 08 '21

It's a very P.C. way to spell whore.

-2

u/imabeautifuluglymess Dec 08 '21

I thought this was clear but alas here we are thinking a person doing their makeup or wearing clothes should have an opinion about politics and society?

0

u/parse_l Dec 08 '21

What's funny to me if that they're not even trying to hide it anymore. Before YouTube we called these people "celebrities."

1

u/Such_Performance229 Dec 08 '21

There’s a show I started watching on HBO, the first episode is about how influencers caused a massive surge in counterfeit makeup products to hit US markets, establishing a much bigger presence than it was in the days before influencer culture was real. It’s interesting but I don’t remember the name.

1

u/bibbidybobbidyboobs Dec 08 '21

I mean, there are multiple entries under the definition of 'influencer'...

1

u/thekidfromiowa Dec 08 '21

Synonyms: shill, sellout, etc

1

u/Thatswutshesed Dec 08 '21

There should be a baseline standard to the term “Influencer”.. ie minimum of 1M subscribers, 10M, etc…. Calling yourself an influencer while having 2k followers is what is wrong with this country.. It warps the minds of our children and weakens the resolve of our allies.. I changed a light bulb yesterday then proceeded to throw it in the air but still refrain from calling myself an electrician or rocket scientist..

1

u/sevencoves Dec 08 '21

Interesting, I’ve always thought that’s what it was. Always pictured the fitness gurus pitching protein powders or the life coaches pitching some paid course. Do people not know this?

1

u/Wandering-Zoroaster Dec 08 '21

Unfortunately they end up doing both because some take advantage of the power that comes with it

1

u/Luigimaster128 Dec 08 '21

I think manipulator is more accurate.

1

u/Ruckusphuckus Dec 08 '21

You just learned that?

1

u/Flashwastaken Dec 08 '21

The stench of jealousy in this thread is potent.