Break the Internet
In the attention economy, online influencers are an emerging class of power brokers. How can you harness their potential?
Break the Internet takes a deep dive into the influencer industry, tracing its evolution from blogging and legacy social media such as Tumblr to today’s world in which YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok dominate. Digital strategist Olivia Yallop goes undercover amongst content creators to understand how online personas are built, uncovering what it is really like to live a branded life and trade in a ‘social stock market’. The result is an insider account of a trend that is set to dominate our future – experts estimate that the economy of influence will be valued at $24 billion globally by 2025.
'This is a book that looks deeply at the commodification of the self, and the increasingly blurred line between leisure and labour ... Behind our small screens is an unimaginable vastness, which Break the Internet manages to shape into something understandable, even to the influencer-ignorant such as me ... wryly funny.' -- Eleanor Margolis * The Guardian * 'It is refreshing to read a book that eschews the usual sneering anti-influencer condescension. Break the Internet is devoid of snobbery, placing the emergence of influencers within a wider economic context ... persuasive and well-written.' -- James Bloodworth * The Times * 'Riveting. A dizzying and nuanced deep dive into the evolution of content creation, with extraordinary breadth of research.' -- Pandora Sykes 'Olivia Yallop has written the definitive insider account of influencer culture. Break the Internet is erudite, smart, entertaining, and essential.' -- Will Storr, author of Selfie 'In 2021 publishers are reckoning with a problem: how do you publish a book about internet culture that doesn't immediately become outdated? ... Scribe may be the first to find an answer with Break the Internet ... A pacy story that's of the moment but goes beyond it, too.' -- Sarah Manavis * New Statesman * 'Yallop is an authoritative guide, balancing her experience at a digital agency ... with the necessary critical distance of someone with only a few hundred Instagram followers. Her analysis benefits from being grounded in rigorous, real-world reporting ... a comprehensive account of a phenomenon that seems more likely to explode than to go away.' -- Elle Hunt * New Scientist * 'Rigorous and authoritative.' * The Week * 'An immersive study of the last decade's most divisive profession.' -- Lauren O'Neill * Vice * 'There was lots in it that I didn't know ... The analysis I really enjoyed was about how we can't hold back technology, and everything from printing presses to moving trains has freaked the hell out of people, but how fragile and open to misuse influencer follower count values really are.' -- Alexandra Heminsley 'The result of Yallop's immersive investigation is a comprehensive education on influencer culture, its evolution and future ... essential reading material for anyone interested in internet culture and a masterclass in engaging non-fiction.' -- Alice Crossley * Reaction * 'An engaging analysis of online culture, including insights into the dizzying amounts of money influencers make, the decline of traditional media, the philosophy of fame, and the excess and inequality of late capitalism. Consider us influenced.' * Norton * 'In Olivia Yallop's new exploration of this cultural phenomenon, she goes far beyond the typically superficial understandings of what an influencer is - and more importantly - how to become one. A fascinating and whip-smart read, Break the Internet is for anyone who wishes to understand influencer culture and its place within the modern context.' -- Dan Shaw * HappyMag, starred review * '[Olivia Yallop is] well placed to deliver on the premise of her fascinating debut book, Break the Internet ... [She] takes seriously the often-dismissed "creator economy" while maintaining a journalistic scepticism. Her engaging, authoritative account thus considers the broad swathe of internet culture that falls "under the influencer umbrella".' -- Gemma Nisbet * The West Australian * 'Along with the advent of social media has come a divergent cohort of individuals who have harnessed its power to attain influence. In Break the Internet ... [Olivia Yallop] has connected the dots for many who wish to understand how individual influencers have collectively made a seismic impact in society and commerce. Through extensive research and interviews, Yallop sheds light on what it's like to have a monetisable internet presence - and more importantly - what it takes to maintain it. She goes to school with the next generation of aspiring influencers to learn what it takes to make it. All this is couched within a historical and cultural context, showing readers the very real-world repercussions of online influence.' -- Dan Shaw * HappyMag *
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