Skin Trade


The acquisition or sale of popular profiles.

The skin trade is a worldwide industry of dealing in popular social media profiles. Historically profiles were used for personal expression and communication. A profile attracted followers through its published content, its value is based on the follower count: the higher > the more popular > the more valuable. Gradually, profiles were created and designed solely to attract huge amounts of followers through posting optimized content. Such profiles, once they attained a follower count taking to the population of mid-sized cities, were sold off to the highest bidder. The buyer would thus acquire a large audience in an instant. What was sold effectively was the popularity and reach of a profile. “Skin farming” or the creation of profiles solely for the purpose of selling their popularity, was met with criticism and public shaming.
Current trading is in the creation of synthetic profiles. Profiles that are farmed for skin trade are being fed with the content of the most successful real profiles, choped and screwed into synthetic versions. Every single one intentionally flawed to simulate reality yet authentic in its desirability. The most successful skin trade profiles count followers the population of the world’s largest metropolis’.

“Emily already has three accounts with over 100k followers. Now she’s thinking about quitting her job and going full time into skin trade”

“Can we have a meeting about our company’s recent skin trade? I think we bought a profile with a wrong crowd.”

Written and Visualized by Simone C. Niquille