Arriagada, A; Ibáñez, F. (2019, en revisión). “From blogs to Instagram and then to Instagram Stories”: Social media influencers and the design of emotional consumption experiences.
This paper explores the various ways in which platform evolution impacts influencers as a community of cultural producers in the digital age. Methodologically, our work draws upon in-depth semi-structured interviews with a total of 35 social media influencers (bloggers and instagrammers) in Santiago (Chile). We also analysed a random sample of Instagram pictures and Instagram Stories posted by 6 influencers (N=740).
Our findings suggest that platforms are contingent to the practices of social media influencers. For content creators moving from blogs to Instagram demanded the development of a set of tools, as well as the ability to make themselves a part of the content they produce. Influencers are not only the creators of the content they share with their followers, but also they are the content, presenting themselves as ‘average’ consumers of the products they promote. Thus, platforms work as spaces where a set of economic calculations and emotional social relations are displayed shaping each other, for the design and promotion of consumption experiences.