How Instagram Changed The Face Of Advertising
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How Instagram Changed The Face Of Advertising

Instagram has become the next generation of magazines: sponsors, well produced edited pictures, and clever marketing.

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How Instagram Changed The Face Of Advertising
Claire Marshall

For my Intro to Media Studies final, I had to create a project talking about the point where media and my interests converge. I wanted to focus on lifestyle pages on Instagram. “Lifestyle” is a really broad term, but mainly I’m talking about the people on Instagram who post about their everyday life, clothes, products, workouts, and anything that makes the viewer feel like they know them on a more personal level. This might seem like a shallow way to use social media, but I'm a shameless follower. For my project, I made a magazine out of pictures my favorite lifestyle bloggers' posts. I trust these women’s opinions on the brands and trends they post about. But while going through their posts, I realized most of the products were tagged and sponsored. It got me thinking about how much of lifestyle blogging is really just product placement. Am I getting people’s honest opinions or an idea of materialistic popularity forced on me when the bloggers get paid to post about vitamins, t-shirts, and sunglasses? Instagram has become much like a magazine: sponsors, well produced edited pictures, and clever marketing. The magazine I created for this project is a compilation of some popular bloggers and their sponsored posts that come across as opinion and lifestyle blogging. I’m not trying to shame these women. I actually really respect them and their hustle on social media. I’m just pointing out how we have to be critical of the media we’re presented with. Check out some of these pictures for yourself . . .


A lot of sponsorship is hidden in the tags. Granted, some of these tags are the woman's honest opinion of products or a way to tell their viewers what they're loving and using right now. But a lot of these tags are also paid for by brands. Famous celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Gigi Hadid are paid between $125,000 to $300,000 to post just one picture of a brand item.

When you rely on social media for recommendations, as many of us do, we're forced to come to terms with a tough reality. How much of this content is honest and how much is brands talking through a celebrity. It's honestly such a smart marketing ploy. Brands seek out a seemingly perfect girl -- we all want Savannah's killer smile or to know the secret behind Evelina's perfect hair. When they post a product that they're either loving or being sponsored by, we buy right into it. I'm guilty of this too. About 90 percent of the makeup I own I found through YouTube or Instagram reviews. Some good, some bad.

What I'm trying to get at here is that when you scroll through your preferred social media platform, you have to remember your own voice. Remember the source, notice possible ulterior motives, and honor your own opinion. At the end of the day, you can be your own best inspiration.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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