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How Do Influencers Get Jobs? It’s Changing

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The business of influence is professionalizing. Content creators are signing to major talent agencies. In February, SAG-AFTRA, the largest union in the entertainment industry, expanded coverage to people who make sponsored content. And now, a new service wants to make it easier for creators to apply to work with brands, and for companies to hire them.

“We’ve created a simple way for brands to create what is essentially a careers page for influencers,” said James Nord, 36, who is the founder and chief executive of Fohr. “It allows people to apply, pull in data from their social platforms and gives brands an easy way to recruit, analyze and work with influencers.”

More than 50 brands, including Dyson, Costco, American Eagle, Lilly Pulitzer and Sephora, are using Fohr’s Ambassador Management Platform (AMP) to scout talent. These companies pay Fohr to set up custom careers-style pages for them, where online creators can apply to work with brands.

“At American Eagle, influencer marketing is arguably the most important thing we do,” said Craig Brommers, the company’s chief marketing officer. “We have a young demo, 15 to 25 years old. Social media is their oxygen and even more so during the pandemic.”

Small creators often negotiate brand partnerships through personal connections or direct messages on platforms like Instagram. Mr. Brommers said that American Eagle is inundated with direct messages on social media from people looking to work with them; AMP, which asks users to answer questions about their content style and interests, has helped the company better identify people who are passionate about American Eagle and have a following.

“From our side what we’re trying to do is seek out authentic relationships as opposed to pay-to-play,” Mr. Brommers said.

Credit…Fohr

Mr. Nord said he hopes AMP can make it easier for any creator to land a partnership, regardless of their background or connections. “The industry now is way too dependent on relationships,” he said. “You get jobs because you know somebody who works for a brand. That’s not a fair way to organize the industry. By brands starting these pages and having centralized places for influencers to apply, it’s going to make it a lot more fair for anyone with a following to raise their hand and say I want to work with you.”

Content creators are craving this sort of standardization. Yinon Horwitz, a 35-year-old social media creator in Miami, said that he spent hours earlier in his career hunting down people on LinkedIn and pitching himself to the wrong companies because there was no clear place where he could see what they were looking for. “In the beginning it was hard to understand who was the right person in the brand, business or agency to connect with and build a relationship with,” he said.

“I think formalizing this is a great idea because it allows both sides, the creator and the brand, to be able to compare apples to apples,” he said. “By reading forms and better understanding the brand and what they’re looking for, sometimes we’ve understood it’s not the best fit.”

In recent years, several business-to-business tools have sought to help companies source and partner with influencers. In 2017 and 2018, there was an explosion of influencer marketing platforms, where brands could source influencers for one-off deals. However, because of the unregulated nature of the business, some who used those platforms were left without payment.

Eleni McCready, the senior director of brand media and community development at Lilly Pulitzer, said she views AMP as a step toward further professionalizing the industry and leveling the playing field.

“It’s taking things off the social networks and really legitimizing it and saying, ‘Here’s a business tool for brands to use to attract new talent,’” she said. “The beauty of people being able to apply is there are incredible content creators that we might never see or it might get buried in the DMs if you don’t look for a couple days.”

Mr. Nord hopes that as more companies leverage AMP hiring in the industry will become more streamlined and clear. “Our hope is that influencers are going to start demanding brands have this space and will start to be a thing brands need,” said Mr. Nord. “I don’t see a world where a couple years from now every brand doesn’t have a tab where people can apply to work with them.”

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Whole Foods will soon let customers pay for groceries with palm scan

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Whole Foods will soon let customers pay for groceries using its parent company’s palm-scanning technology.

Amazon said Wednesday its palm-scanning system — currently used in about a dozen of its brick and mortar stores — will debut at a Whole Foods in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, the first of many planned rollouts at other locations.

The system uses Amazon One technology, which employs high-tech imaging and algorithms to create and detect a “unique palm signature” based on the ridges, lines and veins in each person’s hand.

Its high-tech sensors don’t require users to touch the scanning surface, like Apple’s fingerprint technology does.

Instead, palm-reading tech uses computer vision and depth geometry to process and identify the shape and size of each hand they scan before charging a credit card on file.

Amazon One will debut at a Whole Foods in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, with many rollouts at other locations planned for the future.
Amazon One will debut at a Whole Foods in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, with many rollouts at other locations planned for the future.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

The company said that the palm-scanning tech will be offered as just one of many payment options at participating Whole Foods Stores and that it won’t impact store employees’ job responsibilities.

“At Whole Foods Market, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” said Arun Rajan, senior vice president of technology and chief technology officer at Whole Foods Market.

Palm images used by Amazon One are encrypted and stored in a “highly secure” cloud, and customers can request to have their palm data deleted.

The company claims palm-scanning tech is more private than other biometric alternatives, such as facial recognition.

Amazon One builds on the “Just Walk Out” technology that Amazon uses in its Go stores, which detects the items shoppers pick up and charges them once they leave — without the need for a checkout line

Amazon is also planning to expand the cashier-less technology to Whole Foods, as reported by The Post.

Meanwhile, the tech could be good for its bottom line. The online behemoth aims to sell its palm-scanning tech to other companies like retailers, stadiums and office buildings.

Amazon One scanner
The scanner uses high-tech imaging and algorithms to create and detect a unique palm signature which is then encrypted and stored in a secured cloud.
Amazon

Last September, it said it was in “active discussions with several potential customers.” But it is unclear if it has progressed on any of those fronts.

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Apple’s new iPad Pros and TV remote don’t have U1 locators to help find them in your couch

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Apple has been quietly sticking special locator beacon chips into some of its new iPhones that’ll let you unlock your car and find lost items through walls — the latter thanks to the $29 AirTags announced today — but sadly, you won’t find that chip in the new M1-based iPad Pros or the long-awaited new Siri remote for the Apple TV.

Apple confirmed to us that the U1 locator chip, which uses pulses of ultra-wideband (UWB) radio to broadcast its precise location, won’t appear in the Siri remote. We’re waiting on final bulletproof confirmation about the iPad Pros, but it also doesn’t appear in their product page, spec sheet, or press release. Last year’s iP ad Pros didn’t include a U1 chip, either.

Is Apple expecting us to stick AirTags to our iPads and TV remotes to escape the jaws of the ever-ravenous couch? Unlikely, but the company has been pretty choosey about which devices get the chip so far. You can find it in the iPhone 11 and newer (but not the iPhone SE) and the Apple Watch Series 6 (but not the Apple Watch SE), but we’re pretty sure it hasn’t made its way to any iPads or MacBooks that have been announced since the chip’s introduction in September 2019.

Theoretically, Apple could build an ecosystem where any Apple device can easily find any other Apple device (not to mention UWB devices from Samsung, which is also deeply invested in the tech and has its own AirTag-like device as well). But for now, you’ll primarily just be using your phone to find AirTags, not other gadgets, except perhaps your future car.

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Your iPhone has a completely hidden app. Here’s how to find and use it

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Apple’s iPhone is full of hidden features and tricks we’re constantly discovering. For instance, did you know the Notes app has a hidden document scanner? Yeah, pretty cool. The latest hidden feature that’s been popping up on Twitter and blogs is another type of scanner, dedicated to QR codes, and it’s better than the one built into the camera app.

Indeed, you would already be able to filter QR codes utilizing the easy route in Control Center, or simply open the camera application and it will check a QR code. Also, you’re correct. Both of those strategies turn out great. However, the committed Code Scanner application accepts the position above and beyond by introducing a greater amount of the data I need to see about an examined code.

For instance, the camera application utilizes a little notice at the highest point of the screen to open a connection or show you data, though the devoted Code Scanner application makes it exceptionally clear what’s inside the QR code you just checked. Yet, here’s the rub: The Code Scanner application isn’t found on your home screen, nor is it found in iOS 14’s new App Library.

As should be obvious, the best way to discover the Code Scanner application is to utilize the iPhone’s Spotlight search include. Go to your iPhone’s home screen and swipe down in the center of the screen. An inquiry bar will show up at the highest point of your screen, alongside application and alternate route ideas underneath. Type either code or scanner. As you type, you’ll see the Code Scanner application symbol appear as an application idea. Tap to open it.

The flashlight icon at the bottom of the screen acts as a flash to illuminate a code if your phone is struggling to read it.

If you don’t have the QR scanner shortcut added to Control Center yet, here’s a post showing you how to customize Control Center to your liking. For more hidden features, check out our list for iOS 14. We also cover more general, but useful features in iOS 14.

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