The word, influencer, has become commonplace in the last couple of years. There was a time where that word didn’t mean anything but now being an influencer has become teens’ dream jobs. The abundance of young adults who inspire to become social media stars has skyrocketed. The progression of having a career through social media has become very rampant these days, especially with new apps like TikTok. Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio are examples of how powerful the internet can be with just one viral video. The urgency to follow in these influencers’ footsteps has led to TV creators launching competition shows dedicated to helping people find their own fame.
One of the most popular influencer reality competition shows is The Circle on Netflix. The premise of the show is that “contestants are isolated with their own apartments, and can only communicate to the other contestants via “The Circle”, ostensibly a computer program that transcribes their messages into text as if in a social media app.” The ultimate goal for the contestants is to create the best social media profile and be seen as the most popular. The Circle demonstrates who has the actual possibility to be the best media star as the participants try and win 100,000 dollars. Since then, the competitors do not meet each other face to face, they do not have to actually present themselves on the apps, rather they present who they think can be the most popular. This show is a great way of how social media came to be brought into real life.
Next is the YouTube Original called Instant Influencer; its focus is to try and find the next best make-up influencer. “The six contestants…need to prove their talents as an influencer and an artist” as they go through the many steps on the show. Some of the challenges that the participants face are “viral makeup challenge, collaborate with famous influencers and make sponsored videos for products…and the apology video challenge”. The person who can show the best “artistry, camera presence and potential to be a beauty superstar” wins 50,000 dollars.
ABC is having its own reality show called #FollowMe. It “will feature aspiring online stars as they compete in various business-themed challenges to build their follower bases. The winner will receive an undisclosed cash prize, a new car, and potential brand deals with partner sponsors.” The idea for #FollowMe came from the popular social media stars have and how much power they have in the media world. The show has been noted as “apprentice-style” in terms of the challenges and show format. Although the cast has already been found, no word has been released on when the show will air.
To older generations, these different TV shows might sound a bit absurd but as the younger generations begin their careers it’s very possible the next viral star could be in anyone’s vicinity!