“Instagram influencers” are a big business these days. I frankly don’t really understand it – you try to be all glamorous online, and then if you’re good at it, glamorous brands will just start giving you money and free stuff? Okay…
Byron Denton of London, England, decided to conduct an interesting experiment: he posed as a wealthy Instagram influencer, but that is not his reality at all. The whole thing was cooked up by the 19-year-old so he could see how this strange subculture actually works.
Social media is one hell of a drug, don’t you think?
Denton used some tricky photo editing to totally fake out the masses. Here’s a perfect example.
He didn’t leave his living room couch and POOF! he’s on a private luxury jet. This photo received 1,000 likes in only 7 SECONDS.
How did this photo with fake Louis V fare?
Here are some of the comments that rolled in: “Rich and pretty.” “OMG it suits you so much, you’re such a king.” “I feel my bank account emptying as I look at this.” “Everything about this photo is so aesthetically pleasing wow but yeah cool bags.”
Denton said, “I did this to try and compare whether wearing designer items would actually encourage people to like your photos or not, so if we go back to a photo I posted on 1 December, wearing a semi-cute outfit, kinda basic but still kinda cute, this actually ended up getting 2,234 likes, 44 comments, and 113 profile visits,” but then compare that to his new “designer” lifestyle?
He continued, “Me wearing a designer top or designer shoes, the likes I got on those photos even though it’s still an outfit of a day though, just of me wearing a certain outfit, just doesn’t contain any designer, to then be pulling 12,000 likes, so that’s like 10,000 more people clicking the like button of me wearing designer, just because I’m wearing designer.”
How about this glamorous party pic with beautiful people?
Denton said, “I had a lot of messages from my friends asking how I was affording all the designer stuff and a lot of comments from my followers asking if I’d won the lottery or something.”
Denton’s likes, followers, and comments skyrocketed throughout his experiment.
Denton said, “[The experiment has] made me question everyone’s moves on social media. Do a lot of the high-profile bloggers these days actually make their way to the top by being honest or do they fake some of it?”
He conducted the experiment for a week and then revealed on YouTube how the whole operation worked.
What’s the lesson here? Don’t believe everything you see on social media. Or maybe any of it…