In recent years, social media platforms start adopting influencer marketing to increase consumer retention rates and generate revenue. In this study, we explore how consumers perceive and react to influencer marketing and commercialization of social media paltform. Following a qualitative approach, we interview fourteen users/influencers of a popular social media platform. The data analysis reveals a new type of advertisement in influencer marketing, i.e., blurred boundary advertisement, which integrates the advertisement and electronic word of mouth (eWoM) together. We also find that a portion of social media users are establishing hybrid identities, both as consumers and influencers. The hybrid users behave differently from common users. They show more tolerance towards advertisement in influencer marketing. In addition, we find that consumers accept advertisements in influencer marketing, but prefer explicit advertisements to blurred boundary advertisements.
Zhang, Yixin; Liu, Libo; and Bi, Claire Q., "Influencer Marketing and Commercialization of Social Media Platforms: How Do Consumers React to Blurred-boundary Advertisements?" (2022). PACIS 2022 Proceedings. 188.
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