Reviews or "paid promotional content"? Amazon is paying users to make videos of its products

Mar 7, 2024
The online retail behemoth is selling access to its sizable platform to gig workers, says Caroline O'Donovan of The Washington Post.
"I think it's an open question if these are reviews or just paid promotional content," says Caroline O'Donovan at The Washington Post about the influencer videos.
Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP via Getty Images

This van life-er left her corporate job for a life on the road

Feb 29, 2024
Abby Joselyn planned to live out of her van for two years. But now, a year and a half into her vanlife journey, she "can't imagine being done in six months."
Joselyn now makes lifestyle videos for social media full-time to pay for her expenses.
Courtesy Abby Joselyn

Apparel brands turn to #curvy influencers to court online shoppers

Jan 26, 2024
In the increasingly online women’s apparel market, mid-size and plus-size influencers play a critical role in steering retail dollars toward brands.
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for Ryllace

Content creator economy is everywhere, but labor data and protections are sparse

Nov 9, 2023
The government has virtually no data on this mostly unregulated, $250 billion global industry, says Drew Harwell of The Washington Post.
"This is a market of millions of people around the world who work as creators or influencers," said Drew Harwell at The Washington Post.
Phillippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

The search for the perfect "dupe" might be more valuable than the dupe itself

Jun 7, 2023
"It's gotten to the point where the logic of dupes has been sort of flipped on its head," said Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz. "And people are spending more time and in some cases, more money dupe-hunting than they would if they just bought the original."
Above, counterfeit Prada bags. "[Dupes] also include counterfeits and knockoffs," said Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz. "It's sort of a Gen Z-destigmatized rebranding of fakes, but fake goods definitely fall under the dupe umbrella."
Phillipe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

Mississippi record store enlists student influencers to help business

Feb 24, 2023
Phillip Rollins, owner of Offbeat, wants to attract more college students and give them a place to hang out.
Valentine's Day brought an spike in record sales for Phillip Rollins, owner of Offbeat.
Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

What's up with celebrities and cryptocurrency?

Jun 10, 2022
"Celebrities are rich for reasons having nothing to do with their crypto investments," says Vox's Emily Stewart.
Actor Matt Damon told viewers that "fortune favors the brave" during a Super Bowl ad for
Valery Hache/Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

Why are there so many celebrity beauty brands?

Jan 17, 2022
Beauty reporter Cheryl Wischhover says social media and industry profits are behind the abundance of celebrity makeup and skincare lines.
A display of Fenty Beauty products, a brand launched by Rihanna, is seen in the United Kingdom.
Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

In the post-“Survivor” economy, it's all about contestants’ brands

Oct 11, 2021
Social media has changed the game for former contestants on the CBS reality show “Survivor,” according to “Ringer” contributor Mara Reinstein.
Former "Survivor" players Mike Holloway, left, and Rodney Lavoie Jr. in 2015. Parlaying an appearance on the CBS reality show into a lucrative career is a game in itself, according to “Ringer” contributor Mara Reinstein.
Mark Davis via Getty Images

Conservatives flock to Parler, social media app funded by GOP donor Mercer

Nov 16, 2020
One issue for influencers is that joining a perceived ideological site like Parler could turn off some online fans.
In the past week, the number of people using Parler has rocketed to more than 8 million.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images