Quick fame easier to achieve with social media

March 9, 2018 — by Anna Novoselov and Anishi Patel

In 2008, pop star Justin Bieber was simply a 13-year-old boy posting videos on YouTube in a small Canadian town. When hip-hop manager Scooter Braun came across his channel and introduced the talented young singer to American artist Usher, Bieber’s career quickly skyrocketed.

Now, Bieber has achieved global fame, with millions of followers, five No. 1 Billboard hits and numerous prestigious awards such as Teen Choice, a Grammy, MTV and iHeart.

Other prominent celebrities who can credit social media for their rise to fame include singers Carly Rae Jepsen and Shawn Mendes, model Kate Upton and comedian Bo Burnham. These, as well as numerous others, gained exposure through a viral post.

At the start of her career, Canadian pop sensation Jepsen was lucky enough to have her hit single “Call me Maybe” tweeted about by none other than Bieber. Her popularity grew, and Bieber later signed her onto his label, Schoolboy Records, according to the New York Post.

While recognition from a prominent celebrity is probably one of the easiest ways to become famous, platforms such as YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Twitter provide an accessible and effective way to reach prominent agents and a global audience. One viral video can jumpstart a career, build a following and open doors to countless opportunities.

Now, with the click of a button, producers and agencies can isolate promising individuals, making it easier for aspiring stars to gain exposure.

Another somewhat old-fashioned way to reach an audience is to appear on TV shows such as “The Voice,” “American Idol” or “The X Factor.”  

Such shows can exponentially increase a would-be star’s social media following, and consequently, his or her likelihood of a future in the music industry.

Zhavia, a pop singer who came to the world’s attention after her cover of Khalid’s “Location” on “The Four,” an American reality show that invites individuals to challenge and replace four performers who have earned a seat on stage. Zhavia saw her Instagram following explode after her time on the competition.

Although Zhavia did not win “The Four”, despite serious protests and even a hashtag campaign to put her back on the show, Zhavia received a lot of media attention for her unique voice and style, resulting in an Instagram following of almost 2 million. Her follower count is now more than 12 times that of the contestant who did win “The Four,” and it is Zhavia’s name that viewers will remember from the show.

Additionally, the 5 young “Stranger Things” actors, most notably Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard, experienced a significant increase in their internet presence following the popular show’s release. Since then, the children have gained millions of followers and attracted global attention.

But the prominence of social media also comes with downsides. Platforms such as YouTube and Instagram are often oversaturated with people trying to catch the attention of a famous producer, which makes it harder for singers or actors of true talent to have their voices heard. Some production agencies combat the oversaturation of social media by hiring employees to scour the Internet for talent.

Once an individual is deemed gifted by internet followers, it is then easy for him or her to gain popularity. The likes, comments and shares begin to flow in, opening the path to a Bieber-like rise to fame and fortune.


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