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Ubiquity Reduces Heft of Influencers

2018 04 19   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline MediaSocial Media    

I’m grateful to see the influence of self-styled celebrities waning with each passing day.

For any one person (with the exception of the president) to be able to sway the stock price of any media company is a huge red flag on the credibility of investors. (“Chrissy Teigen quits Snapchat, driving down Snap shares,” L.A. Biz, March 26)

Snapchat is legit, so who cares about the egos behind the irrelevant Kardashians or Chrissy Teigen? Investors should be laughing and reinvesting with every “celebrity” complaint because of the impressions real news outlets make reporting on these corny celebs. But, then, I’m expecting the masses to be counterintuitive, and that’s counterintuitive ... LOL.

Better, then, to look at the modern evolution – rather, de-evolution – of so-called influencers. Adam Buckman tries to do that in “The Influencer Myth: Nobody Has Influence Anymore,(MediaPost, March 28). I see where he’s going: His idea is that mass fragmentation of media diminishes influence. And he’s right. And wrong.

Case in point: Someone as ultimately inconsequential as Teigen can cause a momentary wobble in the stock price of a publicly traded company. That demonstrates some level of influence. But after a day or so, the price bounces back and continues along its merry way. If the inciter were someone the stature of longtime radio personalities Don Imus or Howard Stern, who are essentially of the same generation (although both would argue vociferously against that idea), Snap would be in either far greater trouble or significantly better off. That’s the power behind their personalities.

Today’s influencers leave very shallow footprints in the sands of history compared with the deep impressions left by those from generations before. It’s not their fault, the ubiquity of media makes nearly everything fade into near-instant obscurity.