Who Even is a Blogger Anymore?
The market has become saturated with bloggers. Everyone and anyone can be a blogger. Bloggers become lost in a sea of other influencers. It has become more and more difficult to find a niche within the fashion blogging industry. Social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are quickly becoming overpopulated with fashion and lifestyle bloggers. Gone are the days of scrolling through blog posts. Bloggers no longer write blogs, they post instagram photos and vlog on snapchats. It’s quick and easy for both the bloggers and the viewer. You can view all your favourite bloggers on one app, instead of searching for their specific webpage. Ease of access or just pure laziness? The term “blogger” no longer refers to someone who “blogs”. It covers a multitude of people; those who daily snapchat also known as “vloggers”, the instagram famous with their plethora of sponsored posts, and the long-term industry bloggers.
The Instagram Effect
Instagram’s new algorithm means posts are no longer in chronological order. The algorithm is widely criticised, yet no change is in sight. Most of the posts that appear on my instagram feed are those with the most likes and followers. It is easy for posts to become lost in the feed. Instagram and snapchat stories now have a feature where you can “slide up” and be directly linked to an item of clothing (or any website for that matter). Another element of fast fashion, allowing us to buy immediately. With the use of other sites, blogs are no longer required. Many bloggers are shutting down their blogs to focus more on other social media platforms. Pernille Teisbaek of “Look de Pernille” closed her blog in February 2016. Another blogger, Elin Kling followed suit.
The Likability of Bloggers
Of course, the more successful the blogger is, the more hate they will receive. But the ‘love’ felt for bloggers seems to be changing. Bloggers that were once worshipped are now facing ridicule online. A twitter post claimed Suzanne Jackson, So Sue Me, photoshops her photos: a photo she had taken looking out the window of a plane had a collection of birds oddly placed into it. She later deleted the instagram post, but the twitter post went viral, with many satirising the blogger, photoshopping other items into her previously posted instagram pictures.
A Lack of Trust
The loss of interest could be attributed to a perceived lack of honesty. Specifically regarding recommendations of products from a blogger. The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland produced guidelines for the blogging community, following a similar move in the U.K. Bloggers now must state if they are sponsored by a brand to promote a certain product. This initiative came into being in March 2016. After this, viewers began to see how many sponsored posts were being written. Anger began to rise: people wanted to see the bloggers honest opinions. Viewers felt betrayed by their favourite bloggers, how can they trust what they recommend anymore? Ironically, they are arguably being more honest by using #ad or #spon, yet the general population did not see it this way. Money is also a factor, as many were baffled by the salaries of bloggers. Tied with a lack of trust, society has become suspicious of many fashion bloggers.
Lack of Originality
Yet, many bloggers have started to look the same, with similar posts to the others. Clothing brands send out parcels of products to the bloggers, leading to many fashion bloggers becoming literally identical. Monotony is boring to watch. To achieve some success out of the mass of bloggers today, one must become unique – but do we truly value uniqueness anymore? Maybe we do want to see streams of aesthetically pleasing similar posts, of a life we cannot achieve…
With free clothing, money and luxury holidays, our once favourite bloggers no longer seem relatable to us. They do not share similar problems to us. For example, a blogger with a skin problem such as acne can recommend both expensive and inexpensive products, but any change we see also represents the effects of their ability to visit a dermatologist, a luxury many are not granted.
Models are back in fashion. Gigi and Bella Hadid and their fellow models are now looked upon as style influencers. Celebrities are playing a far greater role in the fashion world today than in recent years, as evident with the various celebrity and designer collaborations that arose over the past year.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what has caused the waning popularity of our influencer/blogger culture. Perhaps it was just a trend, and as such, trends do not last forever.
Who Even is a Blogger Anymore?