Social Media Influence: Performative Authenticity and the Relational Work of Audience Commodification in the Philippines
This article examines issues linked to monetization on social media platforms through an investigation of the work of social media influence in the Philippines. Based on a series of semistructured interviews with Filipino influencers, we asked how influencers understand, engage, and commodify the audience for their content. We suggest that social media influence work in the Philippines is defined by globally connected but locally rooted practices of performed authenticity through which creators employ conscious and identifiable strategies to cultivate a local audience that mostly occupies very different socioeconomic, linguistic, and cultural positions from the creators themselves. We argue that understanding authenticity as work that can be performed and negotiated between producers and their audiences offers new and interesting directions in approaching the commodification of social media audiences.