Keynoting at the Instagram Conference 2018, London

Hi folks!

I’m honoured to be keynoting at a conference dedicated to Instagram cultures on 01st June 2018 in London – Studying Instagram Beyond Selfies: Instagram Conference 2018. CfPs close 30th April 2018.

I’ll be sharing excerpts from my forthcoming book, Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online (2018, Emerald Publishing); drawing on my milestone work on Influencers on Instagram (Abidin 2014, 2015, 2016a, 2016b, 2017); and sharing some new findings from a forthcoming book, Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures (Polity Press) being co-authored by Tama Leaver, Tim Highfield, and yours truly. Keynote abstract below.

Many thanks to Alessandro Caliandro for putting this together 🌟🌟🌟 Continue reading Keynoting at the Instagram Conference 2018, London

Micro-microcelebrity: Famous Babies and Business on the Internet

Ten years ago, as a teenager in junior college, I often heard my peers exchanging updates of what a group of girls had recently purchased, worn or experienced. They could recall the names of their boyfriends, the restaurants they’d been to over the weekend, and details of their latest fashion purchases. I soon learned that these girls did not go to my college, nor were they friends of my peers. In fact, my peers had never met these girls in the flesh; they were simply bloggers writing about their lives on the internet. The allure of such bloggers and the intimacies their followers expressed towards them and among each other intrigued me so much, that, when I became an anthropologist later on in life, I made these internet personalities the focus of my research.

Continue reading Micro-microcelebrity: Famous Babies and Business on the Internet

A few shifts in the Influencer industry

Today, Instagram decided to introduce “Stories“. Admittedly a copy of Snapchat’s Stories, Instagram writes:

With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. […]

Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too.

This signals two things to me:

1) The curation rhetoric of Instagram as a regulated repository with optimum posting times and frequencies to maximize viewer perception is being acknowledged. Instagram wants us to break out of this normative practice popularized by its top Influencer Instagrammers so that more content will be shared more frequently.

2) The curation rhetoric of Instagram as a highlight reel for only one’s “best images” is being acknowledged. Instagram wants us to contentdump on its platform instead of cross-platforming (over to Snapchat!) to post our mass of “non-Insta worthy” frivolous content.

I have some thoughts. Continue reading A few shifts in the Influencer industry

#thoughtsandprayers, Grief hype-jacking, and Saturation fatigue

It’s been an agonising series of weeks after a string of grievous events in various parts of the world. While I have been tracing vernacular responses to global grieving events on Instagram since 2014 – some of the case studies are archived here – this has been difficult to do of late between my personal loss and the onslaught of public grieving. Self-care first, right?

Of late, global tributes on trending hashtags have been featuring a more prominent disdain for, rejection of, and critique on public grieving in memes and thoughts&prayers en masse. Continue reading #thoughtsandprayers, Grief hype-jacking, and Saturation fatigue