The Rise of NFT Fakefluencersby@growthpunk
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The Rise of NFT Fakefluencers

by TibFebruary 18th, 2022
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With all due respect to influencers, there is a dangerous legion of fly-by-night NFT Fakefluencers Tweeting and IG-ing day and night to magick your money away into scam NFTs.

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We now live in a world where, if you’re reading this, I no longer need to define the term influencer for you. If you’re using social media, you probably follow an influencer, whether it’s someone on Instagram for fashion advice or on Twitch for gaming tips, even on Hackernoon for expert advice on tech.

But if you’re in crypto and blockchain with an online presence on Twitter, then chances are, a fair share of your follows are on influencers. And it doesn’t get more crowded than on the NFT space, the hottest, most talked about, sector in crypto.

Now, I’m aware that the term “influencer” itself isn’t always a positive one. Like all new things embraced by the current generation of youthful netizens, opinion is divided on as to whether or not influencers are a positive force.

At the heart of it, anyone calling themselves an influencer is professing that the entire premise of their career is to convince people into buying products, services, or ideas. And that’s not a bad thing at all -- salespersons are key to commerce and perhaps were the very first influencers, going door to door to influence people of the need to buy a product.

Crypto/NFT Fakefluencers are booming

But when it comes to crypto and NFTs, we’re faced with a product that’s not only using a new technology, but a product that isn’t necessarily useful for the consumer. With the majority of crypto projects (and NFT projects) existing without so much as a userbase, own infrastructure or completed product, there was a huge need for unique marketing efforts to convince people to buy tokens they couldn’t use. Hence the demand for influencers.

More importantly, because online influencers commanded large audiences who pretty much bought what they were told to, projects enjoyed huge successes. From nonsense ICOs to copycat memecoins and jpeg NFTs, people bought whatever item was peddled by their favourite influencers. As influencers became wealthy from endorsements and shilling, suddenly, the idea of becoming an influencer also became very attractive.

Thus we arrive at the era of the Fakefluencer proliferation with all kinds of people turning up online in the guise of “influencer". Without knowledge, accountability, responsibillity and ethics, these Fakefluencers are now stealing your screen time, shilling anything that will pay them or enrich them.

Different shades of NFT Fakefluencers

We’ve already seen so many victims fall foul of these unscrupulous people crawling out of the woodworks, and many more will spend hard-earned money on useless NFTs and outright scams. There’s no guarantee that any NFT you buy will ever make you a profit as this is still an incredibly volatile market with the fate of crypto in general still having significant impact on any other related assets. But if you avoid the recommendations of certain types of influencers, you at least trim out some of the risks.

Easy to spot: the Robfluencers

You might have heard of those Artificial Intelligence 3D models (literally, models) on Instagram like Lil Miquela. Granted, they’re not real people, so you shouldn’t be paying attention to their opinions anyway, since it’s just different social media employees behind them, but at least these robots do serve a useful purpose. They spend their entire robot life modelling clothes and accessories to give you a close-enough idea of how they might look like on you.

Great for fashion, especially using Augmented Reality layering, but bad for NFT marketing. Because Robot Influencers on Twitter simply spew out garbage content, using keywords and trending hashtags to ensure maximum visibility. So even if it can spit out 100 Tweets a day and you only see one, job done. Why? Usually because they’re promoting a scam (drop your wallet address for free NFTs, for example).

How do you know these guys? Try engaging with them or see if they engage. Robfluencers don’t engage. In fact, they often repeat meaningless spam responses on people’s Tweets to try and get you to think they’re real.

They also have lousy handle names, like this Twitter list above, doing nothing but RT’ing content and adding members.

The moonboi celebrities/artists

Ah yes, because NFTs make you rich, you can have the Lambos, the caps, the exclusive monkey hoodies, even the girls (or boys) to surround yourself with so you can announce to everyone that you’ve finally found the recipe to NFT success and want to share it with you.

You, too, can be wealthy, walking around in designer clothes and crypto bling. You, too, can be among the elite and proud NFT circles living the life aboard luxury cruiseliners and sipping mojitos on yachts. Just listen to these NFT celebs, buy what they’re shilling, and trust that the promises they’re selling will come true for you.

Just listen to this well-known scammer (tell me you’ve watched Tinder Swindler) Simon Leviev telling people not to be surprised to see him driving a Lambo tomorrow because he bought some NFT. He only charges $300 per personal video message and $1,400 for business ones. Not so expensive, after all.

How do you know you’ve come across a moonboi celebrity? Just look for their photo-heavy content of them with any NFT keywords, giveaways, and… calling themselves influencers when they maybe get a handful of views and engagements on their content.

Posting a photo of or unboxing some physical item which has nothing to do with NFTs except branding is possibly one of the most bizarre things you can do if you call yourself an NFT artist. But what do I know?

Overnight experts

I don’t know much about let’s say, Amazon Basin politics or the renewable energy sector in Central Asia. So you won’t find me posting or tweeting about them any time soon. It’s an easy principle of life for anyone who doesn’t want to burden society: if you don’t know anything about something, best not to say anything about something. You know, opinions are assholes, everyone’s got one and it stinks.

In NFT land, however, the opposite principle seems to apply. People seem very happy to look stupid on IG or Twitter or TikTok by talking about the industry as if they’ve been part of it for so long or as if they contributed something meaningful to the development of blockchain tech.

So we’ve got expert technical analysis from NFT people who’re veteran market traders (since 2021 yo) or NFT OGs (since 2020 sir!).

These influencers know everything about the NFT industry. They’re either researchers or analysts and they want you to know how much they know!

Again, I really don’t like being the bad guy here. But I love the crypto space. I love the NFT community. And I want the best for them. So if I have to look like a naysayer calling out scammers on their bullcrap, so be it.

And to others doing so too, keep at it.

So before you make up your mind to take the advice of someone you’re following on Twitter or TikTok, just be wary of who they could be. Or rather, who they probably aren’t.