Fredericton — The University of New Brunswick has announced that it is launching an “Influencer Incubator” program this fall.
The program is intended to cultivate the in-depth skills needed to post selfies, promote random products and grow a large following on social media. It will be an alternative to the similar entrepreneurship programs UNB already offers, but catered to the new generations of high school graduates.
“We’re seeing that an increasing number of graduates want to sell themselves as the product, rather than running an actual business,” said program chair Misha Tucker.
“Nobody cares about developing your own service or product. Why would you waste all your time and energy doing that when you can get paid to just take a selfie with someone else’s product and use lots of hashtags?”
The program’s instructors will feature a roster of experts on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more. Each year an Influencer in Residence will be present for one-on-one sessions with young would-be influencers, as well as host an installation at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery showcasing screenshots of their most popular posts mounted in frames.
Some students have already signed up for the 2022 fall cohort.
“I only have around 200 Insta followers right now, so I have to pretend that I have sponsors on my posts in the hopes of attracting real sponsors,” said Trena Fellows from Fredericton, who will be entering the program.
“I can’t wait to grow my follower count and collab will fellow influencers, maybe even make some viral content! All of the instructors sound super knowledgeable about socials.”
But not everyone is excited about the announcement. Some current UNB students think that this new program cheapens the overall seriousness of a degree from UNB.
“Is this for real? People are being trained on how to post a popular selfie? I guess this is the beginning of the downfall of society,” said Georgia Tully, fourth-year UNB engineering student.
“Next we’re going to be told that they made a program to train “adulting.” Oh god. I hope I didn’t just give anyone any ideas.”
Photo by Maëlick used under creative commons license