“I’m Not Just a Content Creator”: Digital Cultural Communicators Dealing With Celebrity Capital and Online Communities

Isabel Villegas-Simón, Ona Anglada-Pujol, María Castellví Lloveras, Mercè Oliva


This article focuses on a particular type of social media content creator: those specialized in culture, art, or political content (“digital cultural communicators”). Our main aim is to better understand digital cultural communicators’ views on being or becoming a celebrity and their relationships and interactions with their audiences. To fulfill this aim, we draw upon in-depth interviews with 18 Spanish digital cultural communicators who post content on more than one platform (TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch). The interviews were transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using thematic analysis and the software ATLAS.ti. The results show that digital cultural communicators try to distance themselves from social media celebrities and present themselves as legitimate cultural workers (and not “just” content creators). Their views on celebrities also shape their discourses about their audiences (presented as educated individuals) and how they deal with positive and negative comments.


microcelebrity, digital cultural communicators, digital content creators, social media, relational labor, emotional labor, celebrity capital, hate speech, community, field migration

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