They seem virtually indistinguishable from one another. They both post content online, amass large followings on social media, and embark on brand sponsorships. So why do we call them different names – creator or influencer? These days, how are they any different to celebrities?

With the help of some industry experts, we aim to get to the bottom of this dispute, and settle it once and for all – what is the difference between influencers and creators?

What is an influencer?

There’s a common assumption that influencers don’t really do much other than mindlessly promote products for sponsorship fees, and it’s creators who are producing all the worthwhile content, but this isn’t actually true. In fact, one of the biggest differences between the two arises not from their online behaviour, but from distinct attitudes towards the titles themselves.

“Influencer used to be a dirty word,” explains Sammy Albon, Senior Campaign Director at What They Said, “I was a content creator from 2012 until 2020, and during that time many of my friends and colleagues hated the word. No one would refer to themself as an ‘influencer’ as we felt it denoted a sense of hubris - who are we to assume we influenced anyone? However, that quickly changed and now the terms are used interchangeably.”

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