UK Based Researchers Conducted A Study On The Youth’s Perception Of Social Media Influencers

A UK based research committee asked 511 netizens aged 12-19 about their opinions on influencers, compiling their findings into infographics.

The study was conducted by the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. The committee is made up of a group of MPs appointed by the UK government to conduct research on trends in their titular matters, essentially providing reconnaissance on what it is that the country’s population needs and asks for. With social media having become an integral part of today’s day and age, and influencers quickly gaining notoriety in circles both celebrity and political, it only makes sense that the Committee would want to touch base with today’s youth on what they think of such individuals. Influencers are provided with a unique platform that reaches out to individuals both young and old on a level that TV panels could never quite muster. It’s important to see if the current youth believes whether or not that platform is being actively exploited and abused by such individuals. After all, the likes of Logan Paul and Shane Dawson have made the rest of the world very wary, especially parents.

Becoming an influencer is a career choice that has only recently become both relevant and viable. When YouTubers started their careers, a major question piled on would be “oh, but what’s your actual job?” Well, influencers nowadays earn more than most average jobs could ever hope to supply, everyone’s familiar enough with the career path and its dangers, and now they want to try their hand at it. The research revealed that 32.1% of all study participants said that they would consider influencer as a career option for their future. 43.1% said no, while the remaining 24.9% stated that they were unsure and had no concrete answer. This already shows that, while expectations are definitely tempered, influencer’s as viable a career choice as, say, acting or music.

Ad campaigns are ever present across social media, and they seem to be very effective as well. 44% of all participants stated that they had bought products shown off by influencers as part of sponsored deals, with 44.8% stating the opposite, and the remainder claiming that they couldn’t recall. That’s an almost even split between consumers who were actively influenced by these ad campaigns and those who weren’t. Influencers are also extremely popular with the youth. Over 160 of the 511 participants stated to follow over 30 separate influencers on social media, and only 50 individuals claimed to follow absolutely none.

Like it or not, influencers are a part of any modern day discussion about online social media and its ramifications on our population. Further research should consider inviting such individuals to also become part of the debate, and offer their views and insight on their industry.
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