Digital Europe Economic seminars

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Sophia Gaens­sle (Ilme­nau Uni­ver­sti­ty of Technology)

Inco­me and Nudi­ty on the Inter­net: Atten­tion Eco­no­mics of Insta­gram Stars 

Social media stars gain star-sta­tus with uplo­ads on social media pages like YouTu­be, Tik­Tok or Insta­gram. One of the most popu­lar plat­forms, espe­cial­ly desi­gned to uplo­ad pic­tu­re con­tents, is the servi­ce “Insta­gram” owned by Meta/Facebook. The gro­wing social, cul­tu­ral, and eco­no­mic power of so-cal­led influ­en­cers raises questions abo­ut key dri­vers of suc­cess and, more­over, distri­bu­tion of inco­me on social media plat­forms. Insta­gram has been accu­sed of stra­te­gi­cal­ly favo­uring ima­ges with nude con­tent, accor­ding to media reports. In order to shed light on this socio-cri­ti­cal aspect, this paper exa­mi­nes the fol­lo­wing rese­arch questions: Does body expo­su­re dri­ve inco­me suc­cess on Insta­gram? Is the­re a dif­fe­ren­ce betwe­en male and fema­le con­tent in this regard? This paper empi­ri­cal­ly ana­ly­ses 500 top Insta­gram stars within the cate­go­ries (1) fashion and beau­ty, (2) fit­ness and sports, (3) music, (4) pho­to and arts, (5) food and vegan. The unba­lan­ced panel data set con­si­sts of 100 stars within each cate­go­ry over an obse­rva­tion period of five mon­ths. The data pro­vi­des infor­ma­tion on popu­la­ri­ty, post­ing beha­vio­ur, and pri­ce esti­ma­tes per post. Sin­ce influ­en­cers are not paid by the plat­form, but main­ly by adver­ti­sers for pro­mo­tion of the­ir pro­ducts, the esti­ma­ted pri­ce per uplo­ad serves as a valid pro­xy for inco­me and eco­no­mic suc­cess. Mean com­pa­ri­son tests show that acco­unts with focus on fema­le acco­unts have a signi­fi­can­tly higher degree in body expo­su­re, whi­le the pri­ce per pic­tu­re is higher for male con­tent. Fur­ther­mo­re, using regres­sions esti­ma­tions, I esti­ma­te the effect of body expo­su­re and sex on pri­ce per pic­tu­re. The results show that body expo­su­re influ­en­ces pri­ces posi­ti­ve­ly, whi­le results for gen­der are mixed. Even­tu­al­ly, this raises first questions of a gen­der pay gap in social media.

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Topics of the next meetings:

Ken­za Lamot (Uni­ver­si­ty of Antwerp)

Metrics For News. The Uses and Effects of Ana­ly­tics in Journalism

If you have any questions, please contact dr. Wojciech Hardy

The orga­ni­zed series of semi­nars is one of the acti­vi­ties under the pro­gram „Ini­tia­ti­ve of Excel­len­ce – Rese­arch Uni­ver­si­ty” (IDUB). The Digi­tal Euro­pe Eco­no­mic Semi­nars will pro­vi­de a flo­or for rese­arch focu­sed on digi­ti­sa­tion, with pre­sen­ta­tions given by the leading aca­de­mi­cians from the Euro­pe­an Union.

The semi­nars will focus on foste­ring dis­se­mi­na­tion of ide­as and buil­ding con­nec­tions betwe­en scho­lars from dif­fe­rent EU mem­ber sta­tes. The meetings are open to both aca­de­mic wor­kers and stu­dents, from both Poland and abro­ad. They will help bro­aden rese­arch per­spec­ti­ves and to cre­ate a network of con­tacts for poten­tial futu­re col­la­bo­ra­tion and know­led­ge exchange.

The “Digi­tal Euro­pe Eco­no­mic Semi­nars” take pla­ce twi­ce a month, with the meetings anno­un­ced in advan­ce on the semi­nar websi­te. All of the semi­nars will be in English. Past semi­nars can be vie­wed at the DELa­bUW YouTu­be chan­nel. You are welco­me to join!

DELab UW Seminars
„Digital Europe Economic Seminars”

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