This segment originally aired Feb. 15, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
UK-based company Social Chain is one of the most prominent players in social-media marketing. With an average age of 21, employees control more than 400 accounts — such as Hogwarts Logic, Medieval Reactions, Student Problems, and Love Food — and weave brands into their content in an attempt to create trending topics for clients.
“These are the people that, before this was a — we came together — sat in their bedrooms, influencing all those trends,” 24-year-old founder and college dropout Steve Bartlett said. “The only thing is now, they do it here.”
Last year, Social Chain’s revenue grew by almost 600 percent, to almost $7 million dollars. And it’s projected to double in 2017. VICE News correspondent Hind Hassan met the young influencers who have developed a reputation for being able to set and manipulate the online conversation.