There exists a weird, online netherworld of celebrity, one where a level of celebrity can be achieved among those who have never starred on a TV show, never seen their name atop a marquee and never headlined a concert. You may have heard some of their names, as is the case with Perez Hilton, Chris Crocker, Austin Mahone and Grumpy Cat. More likely, however, you know them through descriptors. While you probably haven’t heard of Eduard Khil, for instance, you might know of the “Trololo” guy. Indeed, these are people whose fame was originally sparked online, web celebrities who were generating millions of Google searches long before they held any real tangible presence within the pop culture hierarchy.
Instagram, the ever-popular photo- and video-sharing social networking site, offers a fame-seeking universe of its own. As with other social media platforms, a currency exists via popularity in the form of followers. With more followers and, therefore, more eyes on one’s page, that person gains more exposure and can boast a wider audience. Although there is no single formula tied to how to achieve innumerable followers, accounts that offer glimpses into exotic and lush lifestyles typically tend to do well, as do pages with a creative bend. Will Taylor, for instance, has infused his @brightbazaar account with a bevy of colorful images, drawing in 121,000 followers.
In some cases, Instagram fame is a nice, ego-pleasing path to nowhere. There are no fees associated with Instagram users following another account, so no one automatically generates an income from having a litany of followers. But widespread exposure gets noticed, and savvy talent agents and marketers recognize the value in finding a brand representative who comes equipped with a built-in audience and an understanding of how to appeal to a particular demographic. Instagram fame can, indeed, carry lucrative opportunities, as butt selfie – yes, that’s a thing – pioneer Jen Selter learned when she began posting photos of the results of her fitness regime and soon became a brand undo herself. Talented teen singer Jordyn Jones leveraged a fan base of 1.4 million Instagram followers into a reality show on Lifetime and TV appearances on shows like The X Factor and MTV’s Video Music Awards.
There are certain basic tips that can help generate at least a modest following, with consistent posting, creativity, intimate material and providing something of value all being key qualities to a successful Instagram account. But not everyone’s Instagram page can feature pics of superstar footballer Neymar, as does the popular page of Wellington “Woody” Campos. Indeed, many of these supposed ‘regular people’ who gained Insta-fame held some initial advantages over the average ‘Grammer. Some of these 10 people are teens who carry a coveted level of either wealth, looks, talent, glam lifestyle or all of the above. Some are filthy rich folks who aren’t afraid to photo-brag about what all that money has bought. Others, however, have reaped the benefits of their own undeniable creativity. Although their paths may have been vastly different, all 10 of these regular people now have enough people looking at and sharing their photos to fill their own country of idolators.