Thursday 21 November 2019
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The News - 29 days ago

Russian child bloggers score millions of ?likes?

MOSCOW: Liza Anokhina was 11 when people started recognising her in the street. Now a year older, she is one of Russia s most popular child bloggers with 2.3 million followers on Instagram.In a Moscow park, her producer jogs backwards, using his phone to film as Liza runs and blows raspberries. Tall and slim and wearing thick makeup for the shoot, she squeals with laughter when she views the result. We ve done (Instagram) stories , now we ll do TikTok, the 25-year-old producer Ivan Bushmelev tells her, referring to her main social media platform. Russia counts some 40 million Instagram users, behind only Indonesia, India, Brazil and the United States, according to data firm Statista.And the photo-sharing platform is, as elsewhere in Europe, particularly popular among children, analysts say.Instagram and other platforms have spawned a generation of young influencers , leading to concerns that parents might exploit children for financial gain.Another risk is that the desire to accumulate likes may be psychologically damaging for children. Such concerns have forced social media companies themselves to react, with YouTube and Instagram moving to make such blogs less attractive to advertisers and to make likes invisible to users other than the creators.Yet many Russian parents encourage their children to blog and even send them to classes to improve their skills. The youngest child bloggers unwrap toys or sweets. Older ones like Liza speak on camera and film sketches. They earn from ads and by promoting products, as brands value their connection with their peers. Liza clutches her phone in a pink plastic case, admitting that she uses it eight hours a day.

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