TradeBriefs Editorial From the Editor's Desk

Being An Instagram Influencer Is Hard Work, So This Guy Made A Bot To Do It For Him
Chris Buetti had a problem: Dining out in New York was getting too expensive. He saw was one obvious solution - becoming an Instagram influencer and asking restaurants to give him free meals to post about them - but that process would be time-consuming and require annoying soft skills like “being good at taking photos" and "creating content people enjoy." Anyway, he already had a job.

So Buetti, a data scientist by trade, decided to use his actual skills and automate the hard work of influencing by writing a program that recruited an audience of 25,000 (by autofollowing their accounts in hopes of getting a follow back), and reposted photographers' eye-catching photos of New York City for his growing entourage to engage with ("😍🤗🤗🤗great shot💕," one person commented). Poof: @beautiful.newyorkcity was born - an active, popular, and 100% artificial Instagram account. For Buetti, it's the perfect solution if you don't want to actually dedicate time to curating an online following, but still want to score free spaghetti from restaurants seeking publicity. His program even finds restaurant accounts in New York, and sends them direct messages offering to promote them to followers in exchange for a comped meal - and no, it does not disclose that @beautiful.newyorkcity is run by a robot.

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