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A CROWDED INDUSTRY

A whole ecosystem of companies influences the influencers

Sarah Lim for Quartz
Influencing also requires hobnobbing at conferences.
  • Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

Social media influencers are often one-person businesses, but a whole ecosystem of intermediary actors has developed around them.

It includes major social media platforms, hundreds of agencies that manage influencer talent, influencer “search engines,” networking conferences, and an array of other services. All of these businesses have a stake in the influencer world, and increasingly, they’re shaping it.

Intermediaries often decide who gets afforded and denied certain opportunities, argue Emily Hund and Lee McGuigan, researchers who study social media and consumer culture, in a recent paper published in the journal Communication, Culture and Critique.

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