From ordinary teenager to superstar
Put, H.A. van de
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The changing technological advances made by contemporary social media platforms have led to a situation where, in theory, everyone can become famous. This thesis explores the role of the affordances of social media platforms and the requirements for achieving such a do-it-yourself celebrity status, also known as micro-celebrity. First, it focuses on the concept of micro-celebrity; the course where individuals market themselves by adopting self-consciously constructed personas, like brands or celebrities, when presenting themselves to an audience or fan base. The analysis focuses on the affordances of the platforms Musical.ly, YouTube and Instagram and the notion of micro-celebrity as illustrated by three micro-celebrities: Baby Ariel, Jacob Sartorius and Loren Gray. The relationships between the technical affordances of three social media platforms and the use of self-representation techniques employed in the pursuit of micro-celebrity, viewed from a political economy perspective, are the central focus of this research. The analysis shows that both the platforms and micro-celebrities intelligently exploit the possibilities afford by each other in order to increase their (economic) capital.