When browsing celebrities' photos on their Instagram accounts, their life stories and lifestyles are reflected. Presentation of self is a common practice for social media users around the world. People engage in social media not only for information and communication, but also for social connections with others. The focus of this article is to discuss celebrities' uses of Instagram as an alternative tool for self-presentation and self-promotion. The data is drawn from qualitative research conducted with nine celebrities who are either actors/actresses, or singers or MCs in Thailand. The research methods include in-depth interviews with the celebrities and a content analyses of their Instagram photos. This article argues that there are two purposes for the celebrities' uses of Instagram. Firstly, celebrities' uses of Instagram for self-presentation are found to be in accordance with Erving Goffman's approach. It was found that celebrities strategically and selectively choose their photos to present their 'ideal' rather than 'authentic' selves. Secondly, the uses of Instagram for self-promotion and brand endorsements are found to reflect David P. Marshall's notion of 'presentational media'. It was found that celebrities use Instagram as an alternative tool for sharing their personal lives and creating public selves beyond traditional media. Celebrities' public displays of their online selves help them to promote themselves as well as the products they want to sell to their fans and general public.
Pan Chatchaiyan, Ramkhamhaeng University , Thailand
Stream: Social Media & Communication Technology
This paper is part of the EuroMedia2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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