The Inside Story of Twitter’s New Redesign

In January, on the heels of @realDonaldTrump’s second year in office, shortly after Elon Musk had been fined $20 million and Kevin Hart’s Oscar-hosting gig had been canceled because of controversial tweets, and weeks following Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's return from a 10-day silent meditation trip to Myanmar, about which he praised the food and the beauty of the monasteries but neglected to mention the ongoing regional genocide, Twitter made it clear that some things were about to change. Just not the tweets. Though the company had spent the better part of the year promoting “healthy conversations,” it wasn't much interested in putting the screws on its users. Debates, disagreements, the occasional blow-out controversy—that was all stuff that made Twitter …

Youll miss me when Im gone: the murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch

The long read: Her risque videos blazed a trail for viral fame in Pakistan. But the price she paid for popularity was death Pakistans first celebrity-by-social media, Qandeel Baloch, was known for the videos and photographs she posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Her videos were a mixed bag she had a headache; she was bored; she had a song stuck in her head and for a few seconds every day, thousands watched her coo or feign annoyance or try on a new dress. The videos were mostly made at night, when Qandeel said she couldnt sleep. And then, they became more risque by Pakistans standards, at least. Qandeel was killed in July 2016. Her brother confessed to the murder, …

Trying to keep up with the Kardashians is returning women to the Victorian era | Marie Le Conte

Todays socialites promote an ideal of beauty that belongs to another time, says French journalist Marie Le Conte Kim Kardashian West is perched on a chair. Shes not quite sitting; instead, shes pushing her hands into the armrests then leaning against the cushion. Her figure is grotesque: above her generous hips rests an already small waist, tightened beyond belief thanks to a The video the quote is from was posted on 7 May, and has been watched more than 21m times since then. Perhaps she was right not to sit; a few weeks later, actor Elle Fanning attended a dinner at Cannes posted a picture of her nails on Instagram. They were tie-dye, presumably acrylics, and absurdly long. How long …

What happened when I met my Islamophobic troll

The long read: In 2017, I started getting regular messages from an anonymous Twitter user telling me my religion was evil. Eventually I responded and he agreed to meet face to face In 2017, I started to receive messages from a Islamophobia and Dear Gays: The Left Betrayed You For Islam. True Brit was also a fan of the British rightwing commentator Katie Hopkins, who in 2015 likened Syrian refugees to cockroaches, and who until recently produced anti-Islam videos for Canadian far-right outlet The Rebel Media. True Brit was a very active Twitter user. They would post at least 10 times a day, often attacking members of the Labour party, in particular the shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, branding her …

Why Bella Hadid and Lil Miquelas kiss is a terrifying glimpse of the future | Arwa Mahdawi

An advert featuring the human and virtual models is late-capitalist hell, queerbait and digisexuality all at once Bella Hadid, a human supermodel, has been accused of queerbaiting after making out with Lil Miquela, a computer-generated influencer, in order to sell designer underwear. I know, I know, theres a lot going on in that sentence. Please take a deep breath: we will unpack this late-capitalist hell together. Miquela Sousa, also known as Lil Miquela, is a fictional character created by a Los Angeles startup called Brud. Miquela has 1.5m followers on Instagram, where she shares pictures of her imaginary life and proclaims her support for LGBT rights and Black Lives Matter. In the past few years, the virtual model has become …

It’s the World Slime Convention! Let’s Goo!

What I like about slime is that it's about nothing. Instagram is filled with videos of the shapeless substance. They often begin with a glob of vibrant, wobbling slime on a white surface. Manicured hands soon enter the frame, stretch and pull the goo, then drizzle it back onto the table. The effect is inexplicably transfixing, soothing even, like a spinning mobile mesmerizing a baby. But after spending considerable time scrolling through these clips, I started to see something in the void: a squishy, candy-colored subculture, made up of millions of young, mostly female fans. They promote their creations, compliment each other in comments, participate in slime drama—and gather at slime conventions. Brian Finke So I showed up on a …

How the Videogame Aesthetic Flows Into All of Culture

When the science fiction film Edge of Tomorrow, directed by Doug Liman, came out in 2014, WIRED called it “the best videogame you can’t play.” The film’s main character, Bill Cage, repeats the same day again and again—a day of futuristic combat with aliens. Each time he dies, Cage wakes up again on the previous day. Everything is as before, with the crucial difference that he remembers all the previous versions of that fatal next day. The repetitions are the film’s equivalent of a videogame’s replayability, and Cage’s battle skills improve, just as a player’s skills improve through replay. But Cage is not a player. He is a character in a narrative film, so the repeated days are in fact …

Pay-to-hey: app lets users receive messages from celebrities for a price

Snoop Dogg, Meredith from The Office and Ken Bone can wish you a happy bamitzvah for as little as $20 with the Cameo app The Cameo app is based on a simple idea: let ordinary people pay celebrities to record personalized messages for fans upon request. Instead of tweeting incessantly at a star asking for them to shout you out, you can just pay them $50 and theyll do whatever you want. Users can scroll through the hundreds of personalities on the platform, from athletes to actors and social media influencers, to pay for a little bit of their time. Casual Friday just turned formal. Book @therealkateflannery for your promposal and, remember to dance harder than Meredith did at Jim …

‘It’s not play if you’re making money’: how Instagram and YouTube disrupted child labor laws

Kidfluencers are earning millions on social media, but who owns that money? They open boxes, play with toys, pull pranks and make slime. They sing, they dance, and they remember their lines: Subscribe to my channel! Children are among the biggest stars of YouTube and Instagram, earning millions through influencer deals with blue-chip brands or YouTubes partner program, which gives creators a cut of ad revenues. Where network television gave us Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, social media produced identical twins Alexis and Ava McClure. Macaulay Culkins million-dollar mug has given way to the toothy grin of Ryan, a seven-year-old whose toy reviews made him the highest-paid YouTube star of 2018. The child-of-actors niche once occupied by the likes of Drew …

Twenty years of the Beckhams: how they ushered in our era of personal branding

David and Victoria Beckham were married in 1999, and since then have used their names to sell everything from pants to whisky. Now, in our Instagram age, their influence is everywhere Victoria Beckham never claimed to be the best singer in the Spice Girls, or the best dancer either. Nor was David Beckham necessarily the greatest footballer ever to wear a Manchester United shirt. The teams former manager Alex Ferguson once said he had only ever worked with four world-class players, and didnt include Beckham on his list. Yet, by dint of hard work, strategic decision-making and a remarkable ability to stay likable even while becoming preposterously rich, the Beckhams have achieved the goal Victoria identified his autobiography: My wife …

Its genuine, you know?: why the online influencer industry is going authentic

The long read: Calamities such as Fyre Festival have tarnished the booming business of YouTube and Instagram stars. Now the industrys top tastemakers have a new plan: keeping it real In a central London hair salon last December, the fashion influencer Victoria Magrath (@inthefrow) mingled among a few of her 849,000 Instagram followers. Magrath tall, with signature silver hair was celebrating the launch of her book, The New Fashion Rules, at an event organised by her talent agency, Gleam Futures. She chatted easily, her high, delighted voice ringing out over the roar of the hairdryers and her manner so convincingly intimate that it was possible to think she knew her followers as well as they knew her. In a group …

The furore over the fish-eating vegan influencer is a warning to us all | Arwa Mahdawi

Its easy to see why the story about the YouTuber Yovana Mendoza went viral. But Fishgate highlights the dangers of looking to online personalities for dietary advice Nobody was supposed to see Yovana Mendoza eating the fish. The 28-year-old influencer, also known as Rawvana, has amassed more than 3 million followers across YouTube and Instagram by extolling the life-changing properties of a raw vegan diet. She has built a lucrative brand around veganism. But a couple of weeks ago, Mendoza was recorded eating seafood in a video posted by another vlogger. Realising she was being filmed, she tried to hide the fish, but the jig was up. It was one of the worst days of my life, Mendoza the South …

19-Year-Old Fakes Living A Luxurious Life For An Instagram Experiment, Is Surprised With How Easy It Is

More Info: Instagram | YouTube | Twitter Image credits: tbhbyron‘ the content creator told Insider he was inspired by fellow YouTuber George Mason, who had faked going on vacation for a week at the beginning of the year. “I saw a lot of people faking holidays and stuff, but I thought it would be cool to take a different approach,” Denton told them. tbhbyron He was curious to explore the lust people held for these high-profile figures saying, “I’d always wondered if the reason people are so obsessed with celebrities was due to the fact they can afford to live a life not everyone can.” tbhbyron And according to the results, the answer might be yes. This photo of Denton “lounging in …

‘It was like Woodstock’: inside the town hit by super bloom mania

An influx of visitors, eager for Instagram fodder, prompted Lake Elsinores mayor to shut down access to a flower-covered canyon The town of Lake Elsinore sits at the edge of a canyon newly bursting with color. Fields of poppies, lupins and other wildflowers spill across hillsides usually covered with brown, scrubby plants as though poured from a bucket of paint. In the last few weeks, large swaths of southern California have been transformed into a colorful canvas of flowers. This type of super bloom has happened before, but this year is especially intense an unusually wet winter following years of drought, combined with the aftermath of a brutal wildfire season, has set the stage for what many predicted has become …

‘When Im 16, my baby brother will take over’: the rise of the kidfluencer

Tekkerz kid, 10, gets stopped in the street by fans; The McClure twins, five, have 1.7 million Instagram followers. Whats life like as a tiny influencer? Ryan is seven years old and makes a reported $22m (16.8m) a year. His YouTube channel, Tiana, a bubbly 11-year-old toy reviewer from Nottingham (4.4 million subscribers) who has queues of children snaking through shopping centres for meet-and-greets during school holidays. There are hundreds getting more than 100,000 clicks a time, or with six-figure follower counts, such as Super Awesome. But every generation has that same obsessional, cult-like draw towards what is popular, just like the one that wanted to marry Backstreet Boys. Launching children on to platforms that were built for adults is …

Reality check: life behind Insta-glam image of social media influencers

Online they feature in glossy posts as the epitome of cool. But that is often worlds apart from how they live their lives Standing amid the reeds and staring pensively into the distance, Jordan Bunker looks every part the moody model, dressed head to toe in black in a direct contrast with the setting. Another image from his portfolio shows him in industrial environs, sporting a minimalist brown trench coat as he looks directly at the camera. However, the reality for the 24-year-old is far from the glamour associated with the fashion world. In his pyjamas in bed hes fighting a cold at the home he shares with his parents in Leicester, Bunker says his set-up is worlds apart from …