10/7-Digital Fame and Fortune in the age of Social Media- Julia Duchossois

In Digital Fame and Fortune in the age of Social Media, Gomez suggests unified terms to clarify the range of social media fame from traditional celebrities to social media influencers by conducting a review of current literature.

Gomez’s argument begins with some historical context about what it means to be famous, and argues that fame is either ascribed, achieved or attributed. Gomez argues that traditional celebrities, like movie and TV stars, typically rely on viewership and size of broadcast, however new social media celebrities provide the content and the audience, which changes the trend greatly. Gomez also argues that social media influencers, YouTubers, vloggers, and Instafamous, have the ability to shape the attitude of the audience members in a new light, and often become a “brand” themselves. Gomez presents a breakdown of different types of influencers based off of the size of their followings, breaking them down into micro influencers, macro influencers and mega influencers. At the end of the paper, Gomez emphasizes that it is in the best interest of scholars and practitioners to have the same nomenclature for celebrities in order to understand what they are and to be able to differentiate the goals behind each type.

After reading this article, I have a new understanding of the differences between types of celebrities and internet influencers. One thing that I thought about while reading the article is where TikTok stars would fit into this breakdown, for TikTok became a huge trend right around the time this article was published. At their most basic level, they are probably considered micro influencers, however since they have gained such a following and even have brand deals and other celebrity perks, would they actually be mega influencers?

4 thoughts on “10/7-Digital Fame and Fortune in the age of Social Media- Julia Duchossois

  1. I did not read this article but it is interesting to hear different people’s theories on the difference between levels of celebrities. Although at the time the article was written, Tik Tok influencers likely wouldn’t be considered a “mega celebrity”, at this point, I honestly think the most famous ones are. They are attending elite events and sitting with some of the most well known celebrities. It is interesting to see these people get famous seemingly overnight while many of the other “mega celebrities” had a long journey to their success.

  2. I think this article and your analysis is really interested. I am particularly interested in Gomez’s argument that fame is either ascribed, achieved or attributed. I would like to learn more about the different types of fame. I wonder where people like Kylie Jenner, whose original fame came from association falls in this argument. I would think that her fame is more inherited, but I guess it could also be attributed to her family’s previous success.

  3. I think when it comes to traditional fame, social media stars are looked down on. They don’t receive the same type of recognition despite their fame launching them into more traditional forms of media, such as reality TV shows or movies. Despite them being in the same types of media as those who are portrayed as largely famous, they are treated as less. I think this is really interesting and I’ve always wondered why this is. Perhaps this is because going viral is easier than winning an Oscar, for example. There are different types of workloads that come with garnering different types of fame.

  4. I think nowadays, a lot of key opinion leaders or bloggers are becoming more like celebrities. Successful KOLs also have millions followers, and different brands try to collaborate with them. On social media, we can see that some activity invited both celebrities and KOL. Also, these social media influencers have enthusiastic fans as well. Some KOLs may recommend a brand, and what they said would cause a certain product to sold out. They are so influential, especially to younger people.

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