A new 49-minute documentary has been released with the aim of exposing the “shocking” goings-on that happen beneath the surface of Instagram. The film promises to delve into the “lawless economics” of the social media site.
With over one billion active users, Instagram has become a way of life. For many, it serves as their primary source of income via sponsored posts and by participating in adverts.
Courtesy of Dutch public broadcaster VPRO, the film, which is free to watch, was launched this week via Instagram TV, but is also available as a vertical YouTube video.
Photographer Sara Melotti, who is featured in the film, said:
[Instagram] became a number game. Numbers are gods today, meaning the number on your social media — the number of followers, the number of likes — unfortunately determines whether you get work or not as a creative freelancer.
Melotti has previously written about her concerns over what Instagram has become, discussing everything from buying bot followers, to joining collective “pods” to further your reach. In the documentary, she reveals more of what she learned from her experience in cheating at Instagram.
The film follows a recent experiment by photographer Trey Ratcliff, who released a book detailing how easy it was to make a new Instagram account, buy followers, and convince legitimate brands to collaborate and sponsor his posts.
Lead image: VPRO.