After Black Lives Matter Protests, Black Influencers’ Followings Increased


Ayana Lage tried everything to grow the Instagram following for her lifestyle blog, XO Ayana. She followed all the big influencers and engaged with their content. She wrote consistently great posts. But her account didn’t grow, and remained stuck at around 13,000 followers. After she got pregnant with her first child, due later this summer, she began to reevaluate if it was worth continuing at all.

“I have spent years and so much money promoting myself and doing giveaways and promoting my posts, and seen very incremental, slow growth,” she said.

Then Black Lives Matter protests and Blackout Tuesday happened. A video Ayana made about Black Lives Matter went viral, getting nearly 1 million views and shares all over Instagram. The Instagram growth she had long hoped for had appeared, and fast.

“Naturally, I gained 32,000 followers in seven days,” she said. “It was wild.”

Ayana’s experience is common among Black influencers right now. After Blackout Tuesday on June 2, millions of Instagram followers were inspired to diversify their feeds. Big influencers began reposting Black influencers like Ayana, some of which, she said, she never even considered messaging because they were so popular. Black influencers are seeing unimaginable growth in their follower counts, meaning bigger opportunities for ad deals and…

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