The film, by first-time director Nick Bilton, “explores the industry of social media influencers through an innovative social experiment. The film’s journey into this world is driven by the casting of three people in Los Angeles who all have relatively small social followings and the attempt to grow them into famous influencers. By purchasing fake followers and an army of bots to ‘engage’ with their social media, the newly made ‘influencers’ discover both the wonders and costs of this unlikely, immersive lifestyle,” HBO Max said of Fake Famous.
As seen in the trailer, the phony influencers’ social media following is manipulated by an army of bots, with Instagram-eager brands ultimately flooding them with free stuff.
“Emerging influencers get approached by companies offering them free goods, and the most successful of them are paid fortunes to advertise on their platform. Even if the entire premise is tenuously based on fake scenarios and fake lives, the financial incentives for every piece of the puzzle are real,” HBO added. “Peeling back the layers to reveal what’s really happening behind the scenes of influencer fame, Fake Famous illuminates our obsession with the numbers of likes, followers, and favorites we get, and how most of our online world is much more fabricated than we realize.”
The documentary will both be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max on February 2nd.