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Instagram Feeding Frenzy: How ‘Influencers’ Are Changing the Food Scene

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It’s an unseasonably warm Wednesday morning in March and New York’s Happy Bones Coffee is awash in natural light. Accordingly, across the tiny marble table, Patrick Janelle—best known as @aguynamedpatrick to his 443,000 followers on Instagram—is taking a picture of his cortado. It’s the most graceful brandishing of an iPhone I’ve ever seen. There’s no kneeling on his seat to get the aerial shot, or clumsily switching from landscape to portrait mode. Just a swift, silent snap. That’s because, at a time when everyone is an amateur foodstagammer, Janelle, his face dusted with blonde scruff, wearing a grey suede moto jacket, skinny jeans, and well-worn Stan Smiths—is a professional.

His skill: making you want what he’s having. His (unofficial) title: Influencer, the much-used, vaguely icky term for social media wunderkinds parlaying their fabulous feeds into new media empires in fashion, art, and increasingly, food. Fashion influencers sit front-row at Fashion Month and strike paid partnership deals with designers and retailers to post about their outfits and handbags; foodie influencers like Janelle are often invited and sometimes paid by restaurants, bars, and food and liquor brands to eat (complimentary) juicy burgers or drink crisp cucumber gimlets, and share them with their massive followings on Instagram. “You can think of me as my own magazine,” Janelle told me. His followers could fill Madison Square Garden 22 times. That’s a lot of people suddenly salivating for Doughnut Plant.

Influencers are a direct line to the coveted millennial audience, and there’s no prize greater …read more

Source:: Bon Appetit