A few days ago the NZH reported that Facebook was suing a New Zealand company for allegedly selling likes, engagements and followers to the tune of $14million.

The business in question has since taken down its website. Add to this all the major global advertisers who have publicly demanded transparency over the past year, and the fact that that the global influencer industry has been busy sharpening its pencils with increased professionalism and, well, things have changed.

Read more:
Facebook sues Upper Hutt company for $14m over 'fake' likes

Plenty of people have called out 'fake following' in influencer marketing. It certainly was an issue, in the early days with rapid, raw unregulated growth. But the tide has turned, so much that the term 'influencer' is already out of date for some; preferring 'digital-first
talent' or 'content creators'.

And the whole issue of follower transparency is not nearly as bad as some might think. Consider this; would a business buy advertising in a media channel, say in a magazine or on TV, without knowing exactly who will see it? Well, plenty of marketers do every day,
the way readership and audience ratings are devised is a swiss cheese scenario, not due to any intent to mislead, I might add. There's just no precise data available, it is mostly extrapolated out of survey or 'representative' samples.