Digital Labour and The Generation of Surplus Value on Instagram
The aim of this paper is to provide a map of the economy of social media platforms. We analyse digital labour on Instagram. The article asks: How are the users, who provide unpaid labour on Instagram, exploited? What kinds of labour do we find on Instagram? In doing so, the paper contributes to the literature on digital labour and the attention economy. Social media platforms exploit paid and unpaid labour in the creation and realisation of value. They capture user-generated content, transform it into commodities and sell it to companies. The article presents the results of a case study of the digital labour of Persian Internet users on Instagram. We conducted a Netnography of popular Instagram users (influencers, Internet users who make shoutouts to brands and influencers) and a survey where 600 Instagram users participated.
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