Influencers’ Instagram imaginaries as a global phenomenon: Negotiating precarious interdependencies on followers, the platform environment, and commercial expectations

Vanessa Richter*, Zhen Ye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Instagram has become a place of work for many content creators, including influencers; however, the inherent power imbalance between creator and platform dictating influencers’ success, requires creators to negotiate user expectations and the platform environment for their potential (commercial) success. Therefore, this article proposes approaching the influencer industry from the framework of platform imaginaries by developing a mixed qualitative method approach to visualize the precarity of Instagram influencers through their Instagram imaginaries with a cross-national comparison of US, German, and Japanese influencers. The results reflect a constant renegotiation of their own positions in relation to platform features and algorithms, follower interaction, as well as commercial partners, within three main imaginaries around Instagram’s use, namely, Instagram as a social space, Instagram as a workplace, and Instagram as a marketplace. The analysis highlights the interdependencies with and situatedness within Instagram’s platform environment, which need to be considered to understand the precarious working conditions of influencers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalConvergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2023

Research programs

  • ESHCC M&C

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