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From Harsh Feedback To $2,700 Paydays: The Rise Of TikTok’s ‘Instagram Bible’

Evan Smith, a 19-year-old TikTok creator, has built a following of over 200,000 and garnered 33.9 million likes by offering candid critiques of Instagram profiles. Smith’s account, which he dubs “the Instagram bible,” has become a lucrative venture, earning him tens of thousands of dollars through paid ratings and partnerships.

As NBC News reports, Smith’s “Instagram rating return” series, comprising more than 500 videos, evaluates users’ Instagram aesthetics and provides suggestions for improvement. The popularity of his honest, often blunt feedback has led to a surge in demand for his services.

Initially offering free ratings, Smith transitioned to a paid model due to overwhelming requests. He now charges $3 for priority placement on his waitlist, $12 for private ratings, and $25 for custom feed designs. Last month, Smith reported earning approximately $1,090 from these services, alongside $2,700 from TikTok’s Creator Fund.

The creator’s success has attracted brand partnerships. Adobe Lightroom commissioned Smith to create three preset filters, and he has collaborated with the Instagram Creators program.

According to NBC, Smith, who is studying media and communications at Pace University, views his TikTok success as a potential long-term marketing and social media career. He acknowledges the often fleeting nature of influencer fame and income and expresses a desire to establish lasting opportunities in the field.

The demand for Smith’s content reflects a broader trend of social media users seeking advice on profile aesthetics. Similar phenomena include the r/PhotoshopRequest subreddit and viral content like influencer Jaci Marie Smith’s Instagram photo dump recipe video, which received 239,800 likes in 2022.

While some critics argue that Smith’s focus on Instagram aesthetics is superficial, he contends that the platform serves as a medium for self-expression. Smith sees his Instagram page as representing his identity and interests, likening his approach to photography to others’ pursuit of painting or art.

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Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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