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Wither the Instagram influencer? New analysis of social media marketing

Of the top-performing creators of 2023, 35 percent started their careers on YouTube.

Image: - © AFP Charly TRIBALLEAU
Image: - © AFP Charly TRIBALLEAU

Working alongside a celebrity or well-known public figure in order to advertise a product or service online is not a new concept. Famous people with influence have been used by corporations as part of a larger advertising tool for decades. However, for some industries and according to some marketers, we are in the age of the influencer.

The rise of the influencer matches the increase in influence of social media. As the Internet has developed, social media platforms have become increasingly accessible to people. So, it comes as no surprise that influencer culture has spread to each of these.

This interconnection has not remained static. In a bid to discover which social media platforms have produced the biggest full-time creators, Higher Visibility has analysed the influencers with the highest follower count on each of the most popular influencer-led social media sites. The findings have been shared with Digital Journal.

The analysis finds that 65 percent of the world’s biggest online creators utilise TikTok as their main platform as of 2023. Organic reach for brands on TikTok is reported to be 118 percent, and when compared to the likes of Instagram which is reported at 13.51 percent, the difference is considerable.

Of the top-performing creators of 2023, 35 percent started their careers on YouTube and 10 percent of the world’s most popular creators began their careers on Vine. The majority of full-time creators on YouTube have found less success on alternate platforms.

Vine, despite shutting down in 2016 after three years in circulation the platform, played host to some of today’s most well-known creators. The majority of which have found further success on Instagram.

The importance of YouTube is apparent in the finding that 80 percent of popular creators who began their careers on YouTube have stayed on the same platform.  In contrast, Instagram appears to be waning. Though Instagram is seen as an ‘influencer platform’, just 10 percent of the most popular creators in 2023 currently use it as their main platform.

Instagram places last with the lowest amount of average followers among the top 10 creators on the app. It was said in 2019 that the Instagram aesthetic was ‘over’, with users on the lookout for more real-life, relatable content on other platforms instead of the glossy, idealised lifestyles promoted through carefully curated feeds on the picture-sharing platform.

From the market study, although this platform may once have been the go-to app for influencer culture times are, without a doubt, changing.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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