It’s no secret, Tech Juggernauts make money from people’s online usage. With present-day computing power dissecting an individual’s data, marketers can hack people thus manipulate them in our digital economy. Thanks to the power of social media, a new breed of people hackers (a.k.a. online creators) is flourishing.
As I shared in my 2021 post Social Allurement, America runs on social media. According to a Pew Research Center 2021 survey of U.S. adults:
- Seven-in-ten Americans have used social media sites. Note: Share data has remained relatively stable over the past five year
- YouTube and Facebook are the dominate platforms with 81% and 69% of respondents reported using these platforms respectively.
- Younger adults (18-to-29-year-olds) indicated they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while roughly half say the same for TikTok.
Social media platforms make money selling advertising. I want to focus on TikTok which shares their user data more than any other social media app and their sub-culture of online internet creators. Some females are known as a BimboTok. They create daily videos considered promotional incorporating products or songs companies hope will go viral thanks to their massive followings. One leading BimboTok who posts on Instagram and TikTok has a combined 4.5 million followers. Young males obsessed with bodybuilding and high protein diets, a disorder defined as bigorexia, are posting workout videos #teenbodybuilding. Their followers are fixated by the thought there is something wrong with the way their body looks. From a marketing perspective, these online creators are a new breed of White Hat “ethical hackers” who have permission from the platforms users to collect marketing data. Another example of how the digital advertising ecosystem is morphing.