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Social networking for fun and profit

Conventional advertising isn't reaching as many young people as it used to. Many businesspeople have realized the potential of social media. They pay successful users, known as influencers, for subtle product placement.

It's getting harder and harder to reach younger target groups with conventional advertising. So enterprises are turning to what they call "influencers" - users with large followings on social media and consequently, great advertising potential. The more followers these power users have, the more companies are willing to pay for product placements. For an Instagram photo featuring a product, top influencers can make as much as 20,000 euros. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan have also begun using their social media presence for paid advertising. But these sponsored postings are quite often inadequately flagged as advertising.