ST CloseUp: Becoming an influencer in 30 days

Fake followers. Doctored pics. Multiple filters. Just how real are the lives of the influencers as seen on Instagram? CloseUp navigates the dark underbelly of the multi-million dollar industry and takes a stab at becoming a social media influencer.

SINGAPORE - Influencers on Instagram have an easy life, it seems. They enjoy fame, freebies and a string of fun-filled events - and all for posting photos and videos on the social media platform.

Behind the glossy, filtered feeds is a thriving multimillion-dollar industry of advertising and marketing, with companies willing to spend large sums for endorsements from popular influencers.

The Straits Times' CloseUp finds out what it takes to become a successful influencer, what their hacks are, and just how much of what one sees on Instagram is faked.

CloseUp, an investigative video series, takes a deeper look at issues that hit close to home.

Correction note: In the video, we said that the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (Asas) does not spell out exactly how influencers should indicate when a post is sponsored or paid for. This was based on its guidelines. The Asas has clarified that a separate document suggests how this should be done. We are sorry for the error.