SHAFFER: Social media influencers experience discrepancies in pay

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Photo by Nathan Lampres

For every 1000 followers, Facebook influencers charge an estimated $25, while Instagram is set at $10 and YouTube at $20.

Instagram and TikTok have taken over the social media landscape and, with that, have created many opportunities for young, aspiring stars to make some money. A lot of money, actually. These influencers are extremely famous individuals who make thousands of dollars for things like sponsored posts they share with their followers, and there have been more and more every passing day.

In particular, Charli D’Amelio (@charlidamelio) and Addison Rae (@addisonre) have blown up on TikTok, garnering over 100 million followers and 75 million followers, respectively. While these two, and many more, have fairly earned their followings on TikTok, something about Twitter users not getting paid as much does not sit right with me. I definitely use Twitter the most out of all social media platforms and get the most enjoyment out of it, but that is not the only reason.

Twitter influencers can charge an estimated $2 per advertisement for every 1000 view they gain. This does not compare well to social media influencers on other platforms. For every 1000 views Facebook influencers charge an estimated $25, while Instagram is set at $10 and YouTube at $20. While these platforms are bigger in terms of audiences, it upsets me that Twitter influencers, who work just as hard as influencers on other social media platforms, are getting left in the dust in terms of compensation.

I can’t put into words how many times I have seen TikTok’s of just a picture of a tweet with some random, popular audio in the background get hundreds of thousands of likes, while the original tweet and author get little-to-no attention compared to the attention the poacher is getting on TikTok. Accounts like @memezar on Instagram, which has almost 23 million followers, also get a lot of their clicks from just posting a picture of a tweet with an interactive caption like ‘tag someone who will agree with this,’ or other captions of the same nature. Instagram has not done anything about this.

The hardest part of the Twitter process is coming up with a clever idea for a tweet with just words. You start with a thought and then try to get your point across to your followers in a clever, witty way, and some tweets take a lot of time to put together. To think that big Twitter influencers put so much time into doing this only to see their tweets not get a lot of attention and then log onto Instagram and some massive meme account simply posted a picture of the tweet and got a ridiculous amount of attention on the post is baffling.

I don’t want to let it go unnoticed, though. In a perfect world, Twitter would have the same-sized audience as other social media platforms. I just want the creators behind the countless viral posts on newer social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to get their due attention and, ultimately, some compensation for their creative minds. Perhaps linking the original tweet in a viral post would be a step in the right direction.

There is a silver lining, though. Twitter users have been able to use their platforms to get jobs with big companies and have worked hard to create other opportunities for themselves. Lil Sasquatch (@lilsasquatch66) is an account that I’ve been following for years, now. He consistently garnered a lot of attention from his tweets and actually got offered a job at Barstool Sports back in June, which is where he has been working since. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t make money on Twitter, though, because he probably wouldn’t have had to take the job, and the job is not a bad thing, he just wouldn’t have been able to make money if he only stayed on Twitter. Nevertheless, it was a great opportunity and he seized it.

Not all influencers get an opportunity like this. In the future, when you’re scrolling through Instagram or TikTok and you see a picture of a tweet, just head over to Twitter and give that account some brief attention. Whether it’s a like or a follow, a little attention goes a long way when trying to reach larger audiences. It’s not that hard and it definitely means a lot to the creator. It’s important to give creators credit, from the viewpoint of the average social media user, for pride’s sake.

This story was written by Tommy Shaffer. He can be reached at d.shaffer@marquette.edu.