The word seems to be an oxymoron: a child influencer, including even online personalities who have yet to enroll in preschool. Despite both YouTube and Instagram prohibiting individuals younger than 13 from opening an account, that doesn’t stop parents of young children from setting up channels and broadcasting their offspring for the world to see.
The rise of under-age influencers should come as little surprise—brands are expected to spend up to US$15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022—and the current lack of regulatory oversight on the industry has led to some predictable demographic trends. Kidfluencers are real, and they are big business as part of influencer marketing. Here are some examples of Kidfluencers who are at the top of their game:
1. Taytum and Oakley Fisher
Three-year-old twins Taytum and Oakley last year branched out after starring roles in their family’s YouTube channel. Now, the pair have a YouTube channel of their own, and more than three million followers on Instagram to boot.
The twins’ influencer platform is run by parents Madison and Kyler Fisher, whose “FishFam” vlogs have garnered more than 3.6 million subscribers on YouTube. The family boasts more than five million Instagram followers and, at barely a few months old, baby Halston Blake already has more than half a million followers on her own account.
While the Fishers can earn up to $300,000 a month through brand deals and advertising revenue, new channel Taytum and Oakley Play has so far been geared toward the twins playing with their toys, and living out their imaginations. The capacity for Taytum and Oakley to tap into the already-gargantuan children’s retail industry seems boundless.
2. Alexis and Ava McClure
Friends of the Fishers, influencer parents Ami and Justin McClure have readily built a tiny media empire around their two twin girls. The McClure family has garnered more than 5.1 million followers on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook combined, and the stars of the show- Alexis and Ava- are not yet seven years old.
“You’ve got to be very good entrepreneurs to be good at this, and you’ve got to be good parents too,” says Justin McClure of the kidfluencer era, “I think it’s great that kids work in some capacity. So you’ve got to say, ‘Hey, how can I run a business and also make it fun for these kids.’”
3. Leah and Ava Clements
On the older end of the scale are nine-year-old influencer twins and Instagram models Leah and Ava Clements. Responding to fears that kidfluencers are exposed to online scrutiny and criticism from strangers all over the world, the girls appear unfazed.
“We don’t get upset, because they don’t know us and our lives,” they told US media last year.
Though relatively new to the influencer world, the girls have enjoyed rapid success. According to their “momager” Jaqi Clements, they get shipments from companies seeking brand deals “pretty much everyday”.
For their part, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook appear content with the dynamic for now. Influencer marketing is an ever-evolving beast—part of the new world of digital PR—and regulators, brands, influencers and platforms must work together to ensure best practices in the long-term.