One of the most fascinating aspects of virtual pop culture that has come to the forefront of public discourse is the development of an entirely new form of “celebrity”: the creator. Several new terms have emerged over the course of social media’s rise to global ubiquity to describe this category of entrepreneurial social media users whose careers depend upon social media platforms: microcelebrity, influencer, bloggers, vloggers, et cetera. And as this class of social-media-made public figures has grown, the productive term “creator” has emerged to encapsulate these new “platform workers.” Issue III of Instasociety focuses exclusively on this new phenomenon. In “From Influencer to Creator: The Evolution of the ‘Platform Worker’ and the Monetized Public Self,” Tanja Grubnic provides a broad introduction to the evolution of creator labour and the need to further study it. Camilla Holm’s book review on David’s Craig’s and Stuart Cunningham’s Creator Culture: An Introduction to Global Social Media Entertainment breaks down, in simple terms, why it is necessary to further contribute to the burgeoning field of study around creators and their implications for the realm of popular culture. The contributors have also put together a list of ten significant books, book chapters, and articles that students and researchers might find helpful in their decision to pursue research on creators and popular culture.
To begin, read the focus piece “From Influencer to Creator” for a short introduction to digital creators. Then, read our book review on Creator Culture for an in-depth look at exciting new scholarship. Lastly, check out our list of ten strong scholarly resources on digital creators, which include brief descriptions.