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Foto: Eaters Collective

"With a Little Help from my Friends”: Exploring Mutual Engagement and Authenticity within Foodie Influencers’ Communities of Practice

Kultur & språk

Studies on influencers are, to a large extent, dominated by research on beauty and fashion influencers. However, little academic attention has been focussed on foodie influencers despite #food being the 25th most used hashtag on Instagram. In this seminar digital communication researcher Cristina Miguel will talk about the foodie influencer Community of Practice (CoP). Cristina will analyse how the ‘mutual engagement’ element of the CoP via foodie influencers Instagram post interactions may compromise the authenticity of their engagement rates.

27 okt 2021
15:00 - 16:00
Zoom and house Patricia, Lindholmen

Bra att veta
The seminar is part of the Communication Research Seminar series, organized by the Division of Cognition and Communication at the Department of Applied Information Technology.

The talk is based on a study with 20 in-depth interviews with ‘foodie Instagrammers’ since Instagram is the most popular social media platform used by foodies. Participants were identified among Instagram users with the highest levels of engagement within the hashtags ‘#londonfoodies’ and ‘#bcnfoodies’.

Foodies learn from each other

Findings demonstrate that rather than competing among themselves, foodie influencers learn from each other, exchange tips, help those starting out in the field, and invite each other to attend events together. Close collaboration also leads to the formation of friendship bonds.

Therefore, the foodie influencers help their members to achieve both social and economic capital. However, findings show that whilst authenticity of content is deemed important, part of influencer engagement is artificially orchestrated within their own community of practice.

"Engagement authenticity"

This study introduces the term ‘engagement authenticity’ to discuss the nature of engagement associated with an influencer’s post distinguishing between genuine likes and comments from followers and the engagement orchestrated by communities of influencers to manipulate Instagram’s algorithms.