The future of the influencer amidst declining engagement rates

This is a fascinating finding from a report tracking engagement rates for influencers within a number of sectors. This finding from Instagram reflects my hunch the same thing has happened on Twitter. There are a number of reasons that can be invoked here: the commercial imperatives leading to the decline of organic reach, algorithm tweaks to increase user engagement and increasingly strategic user cultures which generates ever more noise. But if this trend is as pronounced as I think it is then Richard Seymour’s language of the Twittering Machine is even more apt than I initially thought. This has become a machinery for gobbling up attention with ever fewer rewards for those ensnared within it:

Compared to 2018 the average Like Follower Ratio (LFR) decreased in each of our measured sectors: beauty, fashion, food, lifestyle, travel, sports, and fitness. Even though the average LFR of the travel vertical drops by 3.5%, it still shows the highest LFR with a 4.5% average. A decreasing LFR with follower growth is old news. But our benchmarks showcase how powerful smaller accounts truly are. Influencers with 1k-5k followers show an average LFR of 8.8%. Double the number of followers and the average LFR is more than halved (3.8%).