Roxy Earle is urging her fans to prioritize themselves.
On Thursday, the Canadian influencer and “The Real Housewives Of Toronto” star took to Instagram to share a video of herself sharing a helpful tip on how to “beat burnout.”
The 39-year-old explained that the best way to fight burnout is by “setting hardcore boundaries.”
“The biggest way to beat burnout is setting hardcore boundaries. Because when you delegate things you don’t need to be doing and say no to whatever drains you, you start protecting your time so you can say yes to the stuff that actually fulfills you. Prioritize you today… you deserve it,” she captioned the post for her more than 100,000 followers.
“I want to talk about burnout because everybody is burnt out and we need to change that,” she began in the video. “This is the number one thing you can do: set boundaries and then stick to those boundaries.”
She continued: “You need to reclaim your time. You’re spending time doing things that are stressing you out, so delegate, say no, stick to those boundaries, and then reclaim that time for things that bring you joy. Fill up that space with things that recharge your heart and soul, and make you feel good. That’s how we conquer burnout.”
Earle’s post was quickly met with supportive messages from fans and praise for advocating for self-care.
“Exactly what I needed today! Thank you!” one person wrote, while another added, “Great advice!”
“Thanks so much for sharing this! I needed this reminder. It’s so easy to put ourselves last when we’re trying to appease everyone else. But we can only show up as our best selves for the people we love if we make time for ourselves first,” one Instagram user commented.
One person penned: “Needed to hear that this morning. Still in bed ready to get up and face the day and now I’m ready.”
“Love this so much! Best advice,” added another.
In July, Earle garnered even more praise after sharing a snap of herself posing on a dock in a vibrant maxi dress, paired with an important message about the lack of representation in women’s fashion.
“Let’s talk fashion! You see, I’ve always loved fashion but it’s never loved me back,” she began. “I curate my world to follow inclusive brands and diverse influencers and seek out the high-end pieces that will fit me and then I go to meetings in the ‘real fashion’ world where the high-profile buyers work, and the people that control the fancy fashion magazines and I tell them my story of #MySizeRox and a room of women who all look the same nod at me and tell me they are working towards being inclusive.”
She explained that when she has asked how “real fashion” brands plan on being more inclusive, their responses seem vague and non-urgent.
“I ask them how and they explain that it’s more of a ‘framework or strategy’ they are working towards. It’s an odd moment where I am explaining that lack of representation is the problem to a room that lacks representation,” she penned.
“But, I continue on…..and what I’m realizing is that instead of trying to change the game that doesn’t want me on the team I’m going to make up my own game,” Earle continued. “One that is built from the communities of fashionistas and influencers that have been left out of the ivory tower of fashion. I’ve been too ethnic, too big now I’m not dark enough, not big enough, and everything in between. The people writing the rules make no sense. So on this Monday, I march on! Let’s rewrite.”
“Tag your favourites changing the narrative. I want to know all of them! I’ve tagged a few I know working on the biz side of this community. Not sure if anyone reads these anymore with all of Instagram’s changes but alas I like to share,” she concluded.
Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
From Los Angeles to Silicon Valley, a trend emerged among social media influencers and startup founders alike: move into a mansion with ten or so collaborators, work day and night together to build fame and wealth, and hope that your new roommates do their dishes. But across the country in Atlanta, a fast-growing tech hub, a cohort of Black creators reimagined that idea. What if an influencer collective could be truly collaborative, rather than fodder for a depressing Netflix reality show?
A well-known influencer collective, Collab Crew (formerly known as Collab Crib) has had a turbulent few months since TechCrunch met them at VidCon. Founder Keith Dorsey stepped down to focus on his mental health, appointing Robert Dean III (@robiiiworld) to take the lead. Why the name change? Unfortunately, they’re no longer a “crib” — their Atlanta area house was sold, so they couldn’t renew their lease.
Now, Collab Crew is trying to make the most of the situation. Instead of living together outside of Atlanta in Fayetteville, Khamyra Sykes (@queenkhamyra), Chad Epps (@chadio), Kaelyn Kastle (@kaelynkastle), Tracy Billingsley (@traybills) and other collaborators are launching Collab Studio ATL. A few minutes away from downtown Atlanta, Collab Studio ATL describes itself as “a tech-based one-stop shop for content creators, HBCU students and young entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals.”
At just sixteen years old, Sykes has already been honored on the Forbes 30 under 30 list alongside fellow Collab Crew members Theo Wisseh and Kastle. But since she’s so young, she didn’t live in the collective’s house. Now, she’s excited to work out of the studio, which is more specifically dedicated to business than a house that doubles as a living space.
“My company Putta Crown On It has the opportunity to have a place to do classes, promotional shoots and more,” Sykes told TechCrunch via email. “I feel like the studio has the potential to be a great place for creators like me to thrive. The productivity at the studio is much better than the house for business and content.”
By moving away from the “influencer house” model, Collab Crew can also expand to include more BIPOC creators and entrepreneurs in the Georgia capital.
Currently, the studio is funded in part by partnerships with Monster Energy and Snap’s 523 program, which supports small content companies and creators from underrepresented groups. There is an application process and fee for members to join Collab Studio ATL, but the group hopes these costs will be subsidized by partners in the future — they say that the application process is more about assessing the needs about an entrepreneur or creator and what services they require from the space. The price of membership varies depending on what resources an applicant is looking for, whether that’s marketing, help connecting with potential brand partners or use of studio space.
At launch, members estimate that one-day access to the workspace will cost $25, while the use of the studio will range between $150 and $250 an hour. Depending on how often a member wants to book the studio, monthly memberships will range from $85 to $250.
Collab Studio ATL says the goal with its application process isn’t to turn people away, but to make sure that new members fit well within the community. They also plan to build a professional music studio and sound stage. At launch, the core Collab Crew members have welcomed in partners like filmmaker Jiron Griffin, creative director Elijah Brown and publicist Brandy Merriweather.
The group says they took inspiration from similar community-oriented tech incubators in Atlanta like the Russel Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, PROPEL Center and Gathering Spot, but Collab Studio will focus more specifically on the entertainment industry.
Image Credits: Robiiiworld (Brandy Merriweather via BStarPR)
The new studio could help energize a cohort of creators that has found success despite serious hurdles.
Black influencers and startup founders alike face systemic barriers to their growth. In the same way that Black founders are unfairly overlooked in venture capital, Black content creators have had their work stolen and earn fewer brand deals than white creators, studies have shown.
In a documentary about the Collab Crew, Kastle even said she had dyed half of her hair pink because she felt that the TikTok algorithm was more likely to surface her videos when it saw brighter colors. Since the TikTok algorithm is so obfuscated, it’s difficult to confirm this particular claim, but it makes sense why Kastle worries about how she may be unjustly suppressed on platforms — as it’s happened before.
For example, in the midst of racial justice protests in summer 2020, posts on TikTok with hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd appeared to have 0 views. TikTok later apologized for what it called a “technical glitch,” but Black creators have continued to voice concerns that they’re being suppressed on the platform. A year later, Ziggi Tyler showed in a TikTok video how TikTok’s creator marketplace wouldn’t let him say “Black lives matter,” but it would let him say “supporting white supremacy.” Once again, TikTok apologized. (The platform alleged that an error occurred because Tyler’s post also included the word “audience,” which contained the letters “die” — in combination with the word “Black,” this triggered TikTok’s automated content moderation).
“We’ve got to work five times as hard just to get to the bare minimum on any platform,” said Dean, a 31-year-old filmmaker. He and his younger colleagues have all experienced the frustration of finding out that their white peers were earning more than them for the same work.
“I worked with one of my friends who just so happens to be white, and we were talking because we were both a part of the same campaign […] and they were clearly getting paid more than me,” said Epps, a 23-year-old with over 7 million TikTok followers. “It’s just very sad to me the fact that Black creators and the Black community are getting underrepresented and underpaid. But then again, it adds fuel to my fire to keep on pushing harder and harder.”
Image Credits: Queen Khamyra (Brandy Merriweather via BStarPR)
A recent report in The Washington Post supports claims that Black creators were underpaid. It found that Triller, a TikTok competitor, had specifically recruited Black creators as partners, yet failed to follow through on its commitments to pay them, the creators said. Because Triller withheld pay, some creators said they lost their homes and fell into debt — yet Triller still plans to go public via IPO in the fall, the report noted. As part of their deals, some creators — including members of Collab Crew — were supposed to get a financial stake in the company. But for now, it remains unclear whether that will come to fruition.
When asked about their reaction to the damning Triller investigation, Collab Crew emailed TechCrunch a statement, but declined to disclose if or how its members were impacted. Collab Crew did say they hope that creators who haven’t received the money they were promised can get paid.
“Executed collaboration, moral integrity, genuine ethical business practices and consistent investments into BIPOC creators and businesses could eventually level the divide,” their statement said.
The idea of “consistent investments” is key to the way that Collab Crew wants to run its studio, offering longterm support for its members to grow. Companies like TikTok, Meta, YouTube and Snapchat have launched programs that give funding and resources to select Black creators, and that fast capital is useful — but Dean thinks that inequality runs deeper on these platforms.
“Some of these programs are cool, but it’s like, what’s after that? Some of these white creators got set for just being right for the algorithm,” he told TechCrunch. “It’s hard for Black creators to even start YouTube, more than the average white creator.”
Whether living in the same house or working together in their new studio, Collab Crew has maintained the same strategy for getting Black creators the opportunities they deserve: collaboration and mutual support.
“We all teach each other […] We have strong platforms and we have weak platforms, but with all of us together, everybody will be great,” explained Sykes.
“Instead of like other groups, where it’s everybody for themselves, it’s really more like a team effort,” Dean said.
An influencer may wear an outfit in just one post before banishing it to the depths of the closet. It may stay there, unworn and unused, until it’s time for the occasional wardrobe cleanout. At best, the garment will be resold or donated. At worst, it’ll end up in a landfill.
Detoure, an online consignment shop, wants to change that.
The company, which describes itself as an “influencer thrift store,” is trying to lessen the burden on overflowing landfills by tackling influencers’ overflowing closets.
Accelerating trend cycles are only adding to the fast fashion industry’s nearly insurmountable toll on the environment. Detoure sells influencers’ trendy clothing — most of which is either new with tags or has been worn only once — for a small fraction of the cost of buying the garments new.
“The way social media’s going, influencers wear the clothes once for a photo and then they never really wear it again,” said Detoure’s founder, Meghan Russell. “And so what happens to the clothes then at that point?”
In the year since Russell launched Detoure, the store has partnered with about 50 influencers, and Russell plans to expand the roster in the coming months. Primarily an online store, Detoure has gone viral on TikTok for its Los Angeles pop-up events, which it started hosting this year.
The way social media’s going, influencers wear the clothes once for a photo and then they never really wear it again. And so what happens to the clothes then at that point?
Meghan Russell, DETOURE FOUNDER
The line for Detoure’s July pop-up — which took place in a borrowed streetwear store — stretched down Melrose Avenue. Drawn in with promises of being able to buy affordable clothing without having to dig for it, as at a traditional thrift store, hundreds of hopeful shoppers flocked to the event Sunday.
For $5 to $10, customers could snag crop tops from fast fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing or Zara. A powder blue midi skirt from the brand ASTR the Label, which originally retailed for $98 last season, was priced at $30. Among Detoure’s most expensive pieces was a dainty lace dress with the original tags still intact from the brand For Love & Lemons. It’s a significant drop from buying the dress from retailers like Revolve or Dolls Kill, which priced the dress at $278.
“We’re all pressured to buy something that’s super trendy right now, but next month, it probably won’t be,” Russell said. “I think this allows consumers to buy what they want to right now but also feel good about their purchase, because it’s not contributing in any way to the waste.”
Doing the behind-the-scenes work
Russell, 24, became passionate about ethics in fashion in college, where she studied global health and the rampant human trafficking in the textile industry. After graduation, she worked with influencers for a marketing job in sustainable fashion. A conversation Russell had with an influencer, who was “ranting about how her closet’s overflowing,” inspired her.
“She didn’t have time to sell on Depop or Poshmark,” Russell said. “And she didn’t want to throw it away, because she didn’t want it to be in a landfill. A lightbulb moment went off then.”
Russell decided to finally pursue the idea after she was laid off weeks into the pandemic. She began messaging people to pitch her idea, and through word of mouth, she developed a cohort of fashion and lifestyle creators thrilled to clear out their closets.
Although many influencers and lifestyle creators resell their clothing on Depop and Poshmark, it’s a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Detoure takes on most of the burden by collecting inventory, determining prices, posting listings and handling shipping. Detoure also took a smaller commission when it launched. Depop takes a 10% fee, and Poshmark takes a flat $2.95 for items under $15 and a 20% fee for items over $15.
Karsen Kimball, an influencer who posts try-on videos on TikTok, described partnering with Detoure as a “crazy blessing.”
“I’ve always struggled with trying to list things on Poshmark,” Kimball said. “It’s obviously super time-consuming, and it’s not a typical part of our jobs.”
Carolena Huseby, a creator who makes travel and lifestyle content, “started with Poshmark” but found that it was “taking away” from her working hours because it took so much time.
“You would get a PR package and it could not have a tag on it, and you wouldn’t know what to put [the price] as,” Huseby said. “So it was hard to do the behind-the-scenes work.”
A need for size inclusivity
The location of every Detoure event is “secret,” and to get the address, attendees have to register in advance. Detoure sends out text and email alerts with the addresses a few days before the pop-ups.
Russell estimates that 500 people attended the most recent pop-up. There, Huseby and Kimball assisted with restocking and crowd control.
At some earlier events, Detoure sold out of inventory in less than two hours. To ensure that everyone had a fair chance to shop — and to prevent overcrowding inside — the pop-up operated in shifts.
About 50 attendees were allowed in at a time, and they had a 15-minute window to peruse the racks. At the end of each window, Detoure employees herded shoppers to the checkout line, restocked the racks and allowed in 50 more attendees.
Those who were still waiting in line to check out during restocking were asked to abstain from buying any of the newly added clothing, so the next group could have a chance to buy it.
Whatever inventory was left over was donated to the Downtown Women’s Center, a Los Angeles organization that serves unhoused women.
While Detoure’s pop-up did include a wide size range, there was still a disparity between the sheer volume of straight-size clothing and the more limited selection of plus-size options.
Many of the shoppers flocked to the XS to L racks, which were picked through minutes into every shopping window. Detoure employees balancing baskets of garments restocked the racks with fresh waves of inventory every time sections looked bare. The plus-size rack was far from sparse, but it didn’t feature the abundance of designer pieces that the straight-size sections had.
Alina Murillo, who was visiting a friend in Los Angeles and had waited in line for an hour and half, said she was impressed by Detoure’s size range. But she said she didn’t think it was worth it to wait so long to shop such a limited selection of clothing.
“I’m a little bit on the curvier side, so I was reluctant that I wouldn’t really find anything that fits me, but I did.” Murillo said as she checked out. “For more petite girls … it’s where they had really cute stuff. I just can’t fit in it. [I’d] like a little more inclusivity with curvier ladies, but I was impressed by what they actually had.”
Russell acknowledged that traditionally, “influencers have been one type of body.” Detoure carries sizes XXS to 4XL, and Russell said the brand is “working to get a lot more influencers of different sizes” on the roster.
“I never want someone to not feel like we represent them,” she said. “As we grow and expand to more and more influencers, that’s something that we’re really going to keep in mind and that we’re really going to prioritize.”
Encouraging sustainable shopping
The fast fashion industry is wasteful and exploitive, but it’s growing faster than ever. Shein, a Chinese retailer known for selling cheap duplicates of trendy designer pieces, was valued at $100 billion this year. Micro trends popularized on TikTok are driving fast fashion sales; the rapid turnover of “must-have” wardrobe staples encourages consumers to keep buying new clothes.
Clothing brands marketed as “sustainable” or “ethically sourced,” meanwhile, are often prohibitively expensive. “Slow fashion” brands claim to use renewable resources and pay its workers fair wages, but the high cost of a single garment is a deterrent for the majority of consumers. A summer dress made of plant-based viscose fabric from the brand Reformation can cost $248. A polyester lookalike from Shein, however, costs $14.
The actual sustainability of “sustainable” fashion is dubious. The lack of transparency in fashion manufacturing, acco The Financial Times reports, allows brands to “say whatever they want.” Environmental watchdog groups have raised concerns over “greenwashing” in fashion — a marketing tactic companies use to make misleading claims about their commitment to sustainability without actually changing their practices to be more sustainable.
It’s unlikely that fast fashion will slow down in the new future. Sunny Williams, founder of the brand House of Sunny, told Harper’s Bazaar that sustainable production requires more expensive materials and more complex manufacturing processes, since finished products are held to a higher standard than fast fashion pieces so that they last longer. Williams said she’s hopeful that sustainable fashion will be more affordable once demand for it increases. Right now, costs remain high.
The most sustainable way to shop, Russell said, is to buy secondhand clothing instead of contributing to waste.
“The main goal was to make it affordable for people,” she said. “Pushing sustainable fashion isn’t going to change anything if people can’t afford it.”
Shopping in a conventional thrift store can be like sifting for gold. Occasionally, a shopper may find a coveted designer item for the same cost as the Shein knockoff. “Thrift flipping” — the practice of tailoring an outdated thrifted garment to make it trendy and modern — is on the rise, but it requires technical skills and patience that few people have.
Russell hopes that by curating clothing that’s already in style, Detoure will encourage consumers to be more conscious of shopping sustainably.
“People get really excited to find the treasures out there,” she said. “We do the filtering for you.”
CORRECTION (Aug. 3, 2022, 4:56 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the first name of Detoure’s founder. She is Meghan Russell, not Megan.
The popularity of social media has changed everything, including childhood dreams. According to a July report from EarthWeb, 75% of children say that they want to become YouTubers.
The Walt Disney Company is ready to help your child unlock their inner Disney Influencer with the new “Disney Mickey & Friends DIY Media Creator Design Kit,” available on Target.com for $39.99.
The kit includes “everything you need” to become a kids and family content creator: a clamp-on ring light, phone holder, greenscreen, two backdrops, and 12 do-it-yourself Mickey Mouse photo props. The official product description reads:
With this Fashion Angels Disney Mickey & Friends DIY Media Creator Design Kit, you get all the tools to create Disney themed family videos and photos to share privately or post on Social Media. Great for TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Zoom or any social platform. Officially licensed. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
TikToker @magicallyluxe found the kit at CAMP, A Family Experience Store in New York City, which is currently partnering with Disney and Mickey Mouse. She shared this video of the Disney-themed offerings at the store:
Wanna Know a Secret? 🤫 Promise not to tell! 😏 talk about hidden ✨HIDDEN✨ gem 💎 👀 @shop Disney @Camp Stores #disneytok #disneystore #shopdisney #disneycreator #disneysecrets #disneycontent #disneycontentcreator #newyork #disneynewyork #thingstodoNYC #nyc #campstores #disneyworld #disneyland #disney
♬ Butter – 방탄소년단 (BTS)
In the video, she points out the “content creator kit” and even a Mickey Mouse-shaped ring light and tripod for sale. She calls it “a content creator dream.”
As cute as these items are, being a Disney Influencer isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Two Disneyland Resort influencers were faced with a petition to ban them from the Disney Parks in June after they allegedly admitted to going to the Parks while sick, though they later showed negative COVID-19 tests.
Many Disney Parks fans feel that social media has “ruined” Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort, making once-secret spots crowded. Others have forced policy changes at the Parks after encouraging Guests to get “dress-coded” for a free tee shirt.
Of course, there are positive sides, too! Disney Influencers share the magic of the Disney Parks with us at home and bring smiles on tough days.
Would you buy your child an official Disney Content Creator Kit?
Meta is testing a new livestreaming platform for influencers called “Super,” according to a report from Business Insider. The new platform allows influencers to host livestreams, earn revenue and engage with viewers. The company has reportedly paid influencers between $200 and $3,000 to use the platform for 30 minutes. Super entered development in late 2020 and is currently being built by Meta’s New Product Experimentation team.
“Super is a small, standalone experiment being built by New Product Experimentation (NPE) and currently testing with a small group of creators,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email.
Business Insider reports that Meta has recently reached out to multiple creators asking them to try out the new project. The platform, which looks to have similar functionality to Twitch, is currently being tested with fewer than 100 creators, including tech influencer Andru Edwards and TikTok star Vienna Skye.
The platform currently operates on a tiered system where viewers pay for access to features included in the stream. Viewers can also leave a tip for livestreamers. The report indicates that creators pocket 100% of the tips and revenue earned through the tiered system.
“Right now, it’s web only,” a Meta spokesperson told Business Insider. “They have been testing it very quietly for about two years. The end goal [of NPE projects] is ultimately creating the next standalone project that could be part of the Meta family of products.”
Meta’s early testing of Super comes as the company recently announced that Facebook is shutting down its live shopping feature on October 1 to shift its focus to Reels. Livestream video shopping became publicly available on Facebook two years ago, following a series of smaller trials and beta tests. A live shopping platform could have ultimately served as a significant revenue stream for Facebook, thanks to selling fees applied at checkout.
Livestream shopping is becoming increasingly more popular in Asia, and particularly in China. However, since Facebook and TikTok are both walking back their live shopping plans, it seems that general consumer awareness and adoption of live video shopping is still low outside of Asia.
However, the early testing of Super shows that Meta believes there’s a market for a livestream platform for influencers and creators. Meta is still in the early testing phase for the platform, and will likely tweak it according to feedback from creators.
Far from its somewhat closed-off reputation, the art and antiques market is now firmly online. On TikTok, the #antiquestorefinds hashtag boasts over 36.9 million views. Influencers show off their purchases while dealers share insider tips on what to look for when buying. Major auction houses upload Instagram stories of their evening sales to millions of followers. And tech-savvy dealers’ websites feature high-res images of their stock, complete with price tags.
Last year, online purchases accounted for 20% of sales in the art market, more than double the pre-pandemic 2019 level (9%). Despite the welcome return of in-person trading, e-commerce is set to stay in 2022. Digitalisation was a long overdue consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, when lockdowns forced many businesses to embrace online trading. Social media content and online viewing rooms are now widely used selling tools. And they have arguably attracted a brand new generation of young collectors.
These newcomers and their motivations are as diverse as the market itself. According to one 2022 survey, 74% of under-35s primarily buy art and collectibles to support the artistic community (compared with 33% of older buyers). Social impact is also important to young people purchasing antique furniture and jewellery. Such items lend themselves easily to “reuse and recycle” sustainable messaging. Eve Oliver, the PR and marketing manager at IACF, regularly interacts with customers at some of Europe’s biggest antiques fairs: “Young people want to buy furniture they won’t throw away tomorrow. For nine out of ten [younger customers] that I’ve spoken to, the biggest drive is the environmental factor.”
Furthermore, during lockdown, young people’s homes became a central visual feature of their social media channels. One-of-a-kind items are far more likely to stand out on platforms awash with interior design content. Popular antiques influencers such as @tradchap have tapped into this trend by running successful “home inspiration” Instagram profiles alongside their regular trade accounts.
At the major auction houses, young high net worth individuals (HNWIs) are also making their mark. Although the average age of a billionaire is 63, the number of younger billionaires (i.e. under 50 years of age) is increasing. Many of these individuals are self-made tech and finance entrepreneurs who are now active in the art market. Young HNWIs inheriting wealth from older relatives are also collecting. Recent data shows that most Gen Z and millennial HNWIs invest in fine art, much like their Gen X and Boomer contemporaries. But new ways of buying during the pandemic, including online-only auctions and the ability to pay in cryptocurrency, were key factors in persuading (mainly) younger, tech-savvy millionaires to spend big on NFTs too.
Indeed, rapid digitalisation has permanently changed the trading landscape. Item prices are now clearly listed, whether someone is buying a vintage tablecloth or a 17th-century Dutch masterpiece. At fairs, Oliver notes that traders are far more at ease when it comes to people taking photos of items, with some even happy to participate in livestreams. Christine Bourron, the chief executive of Pi-eX, indicates that live day sales of major auction houses are now performing extremely well: “Live day sales have done so well, this season, thanks to the whole online bidding process. The new trend we’ve seen is that now, there are many more participants joining via online bidding during live day sales.”
But now that lockdowns are a distant memory for most countries, how will online selling complement more traditional forms of trading? This is where the future becomes less clear. When it comes to bricks-and-mortar versus hybrid or digital-only selling, businesses must work out what is best for them. Many major auction houses still offer “phygital” galleries (i.e. virtual replicas of physical viewing rooms), metaverse technology and online-only sales alongside conventional live auctions. In doing so, they can balance the needs of younger, tech-savvy HNWIs with established collectors who prefer the thrill of traditional bidding.
However, some businesses are less interested in retaining a physical space. After all, online platforms have proved that they can replicate some of the vital links within the art and antiques community, without the need for hefty building rental fees. Interior design influencers support dealers by sharing purchases with their followers. Social media allows customers to ask questions and make offers with the simple click of a button.
But whether businesses choose to prioritise bricks or clicks, one thing is clear. An exciting future lies ahead: one which offers more opportunities than ever before to keep long-time customers happy while enticing young new collectors into the market.
Instagram this year will maintain its spot as the No.1 platform for influencer marketing amid growing competition from social video app TikTok. Marketers in the U.S. this year will spend $2.23 billion on influencer marketing on Instagram, ahead of $948 million on Google’s YouTube and $774.8 million on TikTok, per estimates by Insider Intelligence shared with Marketing Dive.
As TikTok continues to capture a bigger share of spending on influencer marketing, it’s predicted to overtake Facebook this year and YouTube by 2024. Marketer usage of TikTok for influencer marketing already exceeds that for YouTube, Inside Intelligence found.
Nano-influencers, or internet personalities with fewer than 5,000 followers, make up the fastest-growing segment of spending on influencer marketing with an increase of 220.5% this year, per the Insider Intelligence findings. That growth rate is about eight times as much as the 28% rise in total spending on influencer marketing to $4.99 billion this year.
Marketers can benefit from the rivalries among social media apps to be the best home for influencers and creators who help to drive engagement with organic content and paid social advertising. As Instagram and YouTube face a greater rivalry from TikTok, the platforms are likely to work harder to court influencers by giving them more tools to help monetize their content. Increasingly, these incentives will include sponsorship from brands that fit well with the tastes and sensibilities of influencers.
The rivalry among social media apps in the realm of influencer marketing is part of a bigger dynamic that’s shaping the way brands seek to connect with consumers. Because Gen Z and millennials are more likely to avoid advertising than older groups of consumers, brands are partnering with influencers whose opinions affect the purchase decisions of their followers.
Almost two-thirds (62%) of consumers ages 18 to 40 in the U.S. said ads are disruptive and annoying, while 54% said they don’t spend any time watching television with advertising, according to a study by influencer marketing platform Whalar. Its survey found that 73% of those younger consumers trust product reviews from “a person that seems like them,” while 62% trust the recommendations of people who follow the same creators. This yearning for authenticity makes influencer marketing an important tool for brands that seek to cut through ad clutter.
The demand for authenticity also helps to explain the growth in spending on nano-influencers. These taste makers have smaller followings, but their lack of celebrity wattage can be seen as a positive attribute when their opinions are trusted by a dedicated group of followers. In some cases, these influencers have expertise in niche products and make good partners for brands whose total addressable market is smaller. The predicted growth in nano-influencer marketing indicates that more brands are finding ways to work with these creators.
When Victoria Clark first met Jeff, she was smitten.
They started dating in February 2020, after meeting on Tinder. Their first date entailed brunch, followed by rock climbing, and eventually dinner, and lasted 10 hours total. For the first month of their relationship, the pair inhabited their own little magical world. They were infatuated with each other.
When lockdown began, things changed dramatically. The couple had to transition to a long-distance relationship when Jeff moved away to take care of a sick family member, who unfortunately passed away nine months later. Navigating their relationship became increasingly difficult, and eventually the pressure caused them to break up in May of this year.
Clark, who is a flight attendant, had been posting a lot on TikTok throughout the romance. She’d always been open about her emotions online. So, it seemed natural to post about the end of her relationship.
“When we broke up, I was really down in the dumps. One sound in particular caught my eye, and I put together a little video, says Clark, now 23, who is from Alberta, Canada and has more than 24,000 followers on her TikTok account, @missvictoriaclark.
The sound she’s referring to — a woman reading a quote from the novel Reminders of Him(“There was before you and there was during you. For some reason, I never thought there would be an after you”) set over folk rock — has been in more than 10,000 different TikTok videos. Clark’s version features a happy clip of her with Jeff, which then cuts to footage of her crying over their split.
The breakup video has been viewed over two million times. “It just blew up overnight. It was crazy,” she says. “With the comments and stuff, I realized that it was important to share my story. I think being vulnerable has actually helped a lot of people.” In many of her subsequent videos — which have titles like “Sometimes letting go is the only way to heal” and “He gave me back the ring” — she is openly weeping.
Clark is one of several influencers — predominantly white women — who are part of breakup TikTok, a space full of tears, sad music, and “healing journeys.” Content creators in this space spurn the traditionally upbeat or glamorized format of social media, favoring videos that are raw, open, and often heart-wrenching. Their hope is that by sharing their worst moments and documenting their progress as they learn to navigate life alone again, they may help others to recover from their own heartaches.
For Bridgette, a 24-year-old marketing specialist from Ontario, Canada who in June split with her live-in boyfriend after four years, becoming a breakup influencer was unexpected. She’d already been posting openly about her relationship online — she used TikTok as a diary more than anything else — so her ex-boyfriend wasn’t surprised or resistant when she asked to film their last few interactions.
“I posted some videos and they blew up. I had less than 300 followers at the time,” says Bridgette, who now has 23,000 followers on her account, @lifeofb16. (Bridgette asked Input to withhold her last name for her privacy.) “I didn’t expect it to go viral — it felt pretty crazy.”
Bridgette’s breakup TikToks include footage of her and her ex deciding to split, clips of her packing up her things from their shared apartment interspersed with footage from happier times, and even a recording of their final farewell. The last video — which is accompanied by an emotional speech from The Office about goodbyes delivered by actor Steve Carell, set over slow piano music — has been viewed more than 11 million times.
“People were leaving really negative comments. They said, ‘Our generation is so messed up, why would you film it?’ and ‘You really have no boundaries,’” says Bridgette, who is now using her TikTok to document her post-breakup progress. “I really was just doing it for me because posting was already normal,” she says. “But I had to put filters on the comments to get rid of all the negative stuff.”
Despite the haters, this content can be a lifeline for some viewers. “People kept DMing me and asking me for help. I decided to bring everyone together, and now I have close to 340 people in 11 active group chats on Instagram,” says Clark. Most of the chat participants are women ages 18 to 30.
“It’s amazing because I don’t need to constantly be messaging all these people. They’re messaging each other with advice and support,” says Clark, who adds that she’s been thrilled to watch the first few chats she started fizzle out as their members get over their respective exes. “It’s been a really great experience to see everyone grow. I’m glad that I could foster that.”
Kayla McCullough, a 26-year-old Wisconsin-based content creator with more than 200,000 followers on her TikTok account, @kayla.mccul, also feels that her videos are helping people to heal. “I get a lot of DMs every day from people just saying ‘Thank you’ or asking me for advice,” she says. “I feel like a lot of people need to know that they’re not alone.”
McCullough, who tells Input she is currently in a healthy relationship but takes inspiration from previous romances gone wrong, recites self-written speeches about heartbreak from her car, often accompanied by melancholy piano music. Many of her clips have been viewed millions of times.
The comment sections of the videos are littered with professions of heartbreak from her followers, who often request that she turns her monologues into TikTok sounds. Hundreds have used these sounds to soundtrack their own breakup videos.
“Stories are meant to be shared,” McCullough says. “I feel like my stories can help people with their own stories — and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
The ex factor
But how do the exes feel about all this?
“I showed my ex the video before posting, and he was very, very supportive,” Bridgette says. “I think he just kind of classified it as how I needed to heal from this breakup. At the time, we didn’t expect it to go viral.”
Although her ex watched her videos after they first broke up, eventually, it became too much. “He watched up until two weeks ago,” Bridgette says. “We just figured it might be better for us to go ‘no contact’ and move on separately.”
Clark, meanwhile, did not ask for her ex’s permission to post videos of them together, although she did her best to use footage and pictures where he wasn’t easily identifiable. She had to come clean to him when her videos began to pull in hundreds of thousands of views.
Although it was hard, it helped to clear up some miscommunications. “In one of my videos, I used a sound that said, ‘I thought you were the one, until I realized you didn’t want me to be the one.’ When he saw that, he said, ‘You are the one for me. I’m so sorry I ever made you feel like you weren’t,’” she recounts.
Clark says her ex was upset by some of the videos in which she was crying. “He wished that I didn’t use our breakup as content, but he totally understands why — he just asked that I consult him next time,” she says. From there on, the former partners set some firm boundaries. “We also decided he wouldn’t watch the videos where I’m explaining the depths of my pain,” Clarks says, “because we’ve already talked about that, and I don’t think it would be beneficial.”
“I’m posting for me — it wouldn’t be authentic if I started promoting brands.”
The breakup influencers Input spoke to say that their videos are primarily about healing and growth, not about achieving clout or fame. “When I watch content about breakups, I’m so grateful that someone is willing to share such raw experiences,” Bridgette says. “I think it’s nice to look past the highlight reel we usually post on social media. Heartbreak is genuinely experienced by everyone on this planet — why is no one talking about it?”
Bridgette says she doesn’t care that she’s been unable to monetize her online presence. “I don’t have any interest in doing that. I’m posting for me — it wouldn’t be authentic if I started promoting brands,” she says. “It’d be unfair to the community.”
McCollough also views her presence on breakup TikTok as a calling, rather than a money-making opportunity — especially since heartbreak is transient and viewers are hard to hold on to. “When followers leave my page after the things that they’re going through subside, I think it’s a good thing. They’re no longer in a state of pain,” she says. “But I feel as though there’s always going to be somebody who’s in need of help.”
The fact that people will always need help through heartbreak has inspired Clark to keep posting about her own experiences, and leave up her old, teary videos — even though she and Jeff have recently gotten back together. “I am going to leave them up because those videos might be empowering for someone in a different situation,” explains Clark, who has now started posting about her recoupling process.
She’s still grateful she found her way to breakup TikTok, even though she also didn’t profit from it financially. “The biggest benefit of this whole breakup thing is having that community. That’s always been my focus,” Clark says. “I think the connection is worth more than whatever money I could make from it.”
Social networking app Triller wanted to knock TikTok off its throne as the place to be for content creators. And the video-sharing service went hard to recruit some of the biggest influencers, making them offers they couldn’t refuse, including money, cars and lavish dinners. But Triller also devoted some of its resources specifically to court Black influencers, offering a total of $14 million in contracts to 300 content creators, a move the company called “the largest ever one-time commitment of capital to Black creators.” But as some of those content creators have shared with The Washington Post, the money Triller promised them has either come late or not at all.
According to The Washington Post, Triller lured Black creators with the promise of $4,000 per month. Half of the amount would come in the form of company equity, something particularly appealing to influencers used to bringing eyeballs to platforms they had no stake in. But now, many Black creators say the terms of their agreement with Triller are stifling. And they say the platform’s inconsistent payment has left some of them in debt as they try to keep themselves afloat.
Triller first set its sights on Black social media influencers after the Black TikTok Strike, a movement started by Black content creators who were past tired of white folks unfairly reaping the benefits of trends they started. Triller took advantage of the opportunity by announcing the creator program and other investments to support Black content. But not long after the program started, Triller began missing payments desperately needed by creators whose ability to earn money on other platforms, such as TikTok was greatly restricted in their program agreements.
According to a statement from chief executive Mahi de Silva, Triller ”has met its financial commitments to the creators in this program and will continue to do so.” He added, “We specifically take pride in our role in creating a platform that celebrates Black creator content. No other medium has done as much as Triller has for this often overlooked and underrepresented part of the creator economy.”
This isn’t the first time Triller has made news for not coming through with the cash. Universal Music Group (UMG) removed its catalog from Triller in February 2021 after claiming the social media platform “shamefully withheld payments owed” to Universal artists. Triller discredited UMG’s claim and was able to reach an expanded licensing agreement.
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For the Black influencers who were drawn into the idea of owning a piece of Triller, they say they feel used.“This program was meant to make us financially free and to empower Black people,” said David Warren, a Black creator with over half a million followers on TikTok. “They told us that so much was going to happen for us. We were made to look like fools.”
Micro-influencers are emerging as APAC brands’ top choice for collaboration. Despite the financial and geopolitical uncertainties and a potential global recession on the horizon, a report from Meltwater titled “The Rise of the Creator Economy: A New Opportunity for Brands in Asia-Pacific”, explained that CMOs are still expected to deliver results within this challenging environment.
Marketing budgets, however, are in recovery phase from record lows in 2021, and has the potential to further shrink. These challenging circumstances are now driving marketers to work with micro-influencers to connect with consumers and drive growth.
In 2021, micro-influencers represented 91% of all sponsored post engagements – including likes, shares and comments, within APAC. With pressure to show ROI for marketing budgets, this could be an effective approach. Moreover, the cost to engage micro-influencers in APAC is considerably lower, at an average rate of US$200 per Instagram post, as compared to engaging famous influencers. The report also found that these influencers see the strongest engagement rate on TikTok, where they experience 32x and 4x greater engagement than on Facebook and Instagram, respectively.
According to Meltwater’s Social Influencer Platform, outside of China and India’s established influencer economy, APAC countries have a sizable influencer population with Japan (600,00) topping the list, followed by Australia (400,00), Indonesia (400,000), Thailand (100,000) and Singapore (70,000).
Mimrah Mahmood, senior director and partner at Meltwater Asia Pacific, said: “Whether you call them influencers, content creators or key opinion leaders (KOLs), brands can benefit from tapping into the booming creator economy.”
He added that an increasing number of consumers across Asia-Pacific are turning to digital spaces and influencers to form their opinions and make purchase decisions. “While many brands turn to celebrities for brand partnerships, micro-influencers with higher engagement and stronger connection to their audience, can offer stronger ROI. It is likely we will see more global brands collaborating with them for hyperlocal marketing,” he added.
Where are the social media users coming from?
In a report by Meltwater, Singapore has 5.3 million active social media users, which equates to 89.5% of the country’s population. Around 23.5% of Internet users in Singapore follow influencers on social media. Meanwhile, Malaysia has 30.25 million active social media users, which equates to 91.7% of the country’s population, with more than 30% of internet users in Malaysia follow influencers on social media.
Indonesia has 191.4 million active social media users, which equates to 68.9% of the country’s population. More than 31% of internet users in Indonesia follow influencers on social media. Other countries in APAC have over 70% of active social media users in their population.
Countries in APAC also have healthy creator economies, with Japan leading with 600,000 influencers. Indonesia and Australia come second, with 400,000 content creators each, followed by Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.
Why do consumers prefer influencer content?
In 2022, the global creator economy market is estimated to be worth a staggering US$104.2 billion, according to a report by the influencer marketing hub.
Neuroscience research from Whalar found that influencer marketing reins over both traditional TV advertising and digital advertising in a big way. TikTok, in particular, helps improve the stickiness of multimedia campaigns.
According to the research, an Instagram influencer’s content is 43% more memorable if viewers are primed to the content via TikTok, ads on TV are 13% more memorable after viewed it on TikTok, and viewers are also 31% less likely to skip through a YouTube ad if they’ve first seen it on TikTok.
Additionally, when consumers are exposed to an influencer ad before seeing a TV, Facebook, or YouTube ad from the same campaign, they are 58% more likely to feel positive towards the ad, and 47% more likely to remember it.
In APAC, influencers experience a much higher engagement rate on TikTok than on other social media channels. TikTok engagement is 32 times higher than on Facebook and four times higher than on Instagram.
On the bright side, the emergence of the creator economy means that brands no longer have to reply on big marketing budgets and long held reputation to influence audiences. Working with creators to leverage the enthusiasm and loyalty of their communities can competitively position a brand.
Related articles: Analysis: Why marketers are preferring to work with micro influencers despite budget stability