Here's how to get on an influencer's Close Friends list

You can now get exclusive content and personal interaction from some of your favourite accounts. For a price, of course…

by Mahoro Seward
24 February 2020, 6:36pm

via Getty

The landscape of the influencer economy shifts so rapidly that it’s hard to keep track of the ways internet personalities develop to make a quick buck. From simple branded posts to attempts to covertly capitalise on marriage proposals, the balancing act of making content that appeals to audiences in the hundreds of thousands -- or even millions -- while remaining personally relevant to each follower results in some interesting strategies... Now, some of the more savvy influencers out there have found a way to offer bespoke content, allowing you to bypass the barrage of sponsored content to interact with the influencers you love most.

Figures like Caroline Calloway are offering their followers access to the Close Friends sections of their stories, offering true fanatics access to the most intimate nooks of their lives…

It’ll cost you though. In Caroline’s case, a coveted spot on her list will set back subscribers a not-too-outlandish $2 a month, payable via subscription crowdfunding app Patreon. For the more princely sum of $100 a month, you can bag yourself exclusive content, as well as a monthly 25-minute Facetime catch-up with the ‘one-woman Fyre Festival’ herself!

“What I do provides value and I should be compensated for that service, just like anyone else,” she told Vogue Business. “A stranger is not entitled to consume what I make, just as I am not entitled to reap the benefits of whatever job they are employed at.”

Caroline’s far from the only one attempting to cash in on what feels like a PG OnlyFans for influencer stans. From artist @sighswoon to astrologer @constellationclub, accounts across the board are growing savvy regarding the monetisable potential of the ostensibly private sections of their accounts. Aliza Kelly, the owner of the latter, charges between $5 and $200 a month for varying levels of behind-the-scenes access. "I’m trying to provide a balance of free content for people to enjoy on my Instagram, while also being able to give paid-for, personalised attention,” she says.

Honestly, if people were willing to pay actual real-life money *for my attention*, I would get the bag and run… or stick around for more. Time to start budgeting for more random subscriptions to come out of our accounts at the end of the month, I guess.

caroline calloway