But an influencer named Dani Carbonari has been predominantly in the limelight, being called out by her followers for dismissing the company’s long history of poor working conditions. With nearly 500K followers on Instagram, she vlogged and shared her Shein-sponsored trip in a post and video tour on the platform, saying, “there are so many companies not taking half the initiative Shein is. They are aware of every single rumor and instead of staying quiet, they are fighting with all of their power to not only show us the truth but continue to improve.” She was impacted by “getting to see what the entire process of @sheinofficial clothing looks like from beginning to end” and “getting to experience China surrounded by people born & raised there.” She even went so far as to say that she “was really excited and impressed to see the working conditions,” panning the camera to a clean, bright factory.
To support Shein and share content about the brand like this is to ignore her followers, reminding her of the extensive history of Shein’s labor rights violations. And it’s impacting her following. Over the last few days, her Instagram has lost over 200 followers, and her tone-questionable videos have gone viral on other platforms like Twitter and TikTok.
According to Theda Kontis, the president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, when she asks patients if she could put their pictures online, “older patients are wishy-washy,” and younger patients say, “sure, when is it going to be posted?” She goes on to explain that “obviousness is the goal now.”
Eli Rallo, a 24-year-old content creator, author, and podcaster who has been open about her cosmetic procedures with her 722K+ TikTok followers, said, “I think people were getting sick and tired of the Instagram influencer as we know her, we’re looking at these people; they’re not even real. TikTok is a medium where people could just be themselves” and that invitation for vulnerability is the draw to TikTok versus other social media platforms.
How far we’ve come. Though celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenners are still notorious for not addressing enhancements they may or may not have undergone, we have still come a long way from brushing the subject under the rug.
When it Comes to News, Influencers Rank Above Journalists
Journalists struggle to stand a chance in the age of social media influencers.
With 28% of consumers using it, Facebook remains the most important network for news, but even that was down from its peak of 42% in 2016. YouTube came in second with 20%, Whatsapp with 16%, Instagram with 14%, Twitter with 11%, and TikTok with 6%.
The report shows that while mainstream journalists often lead conversations around news on Twitter and Facebook, they struggle to gain a footing on newer networks like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, where personalities and ordinary people are more prevalent, even regarding conversations about news.
TikTok has a different appetite for news coverage: people on TikTok like watching satirical videos about the news or sometimes even trying to make viral memes about the news. Although journalists have more credibility, they may be less sought after on platforms like TikTok or Instagram. Viewers on those platforms prefer to learn about the news in a less-formal way than just reading the news.