Why Do People Hate the Term 'Influencer'?

The debate on verbiage stems from a rejection of new income streams and the early days of internet culture

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When people ask Sara Wilson about her former position at Facebook (now Meta), which began in 2013, she includes a caveat: “I worked with influencers, but now ‘influencer’ is a dirty word, so we call them ‘creators.’

“The early social media version of an influencer is largely negative,” continued Wilson, who is now the founder of digital strategy consultancy SW Projects. “In two-dimensional terms, it described somebody who was using their looks to create a brand.”



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This story first appeared in the Oct. 31, 2023 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.