Harry and Meghan Lean Into Social Media Influencing

Harry and Meghan Lean Into Social Media Influencing

Using their wildly popular new Instagram account, Harry and Meghan have personally thanked the fans who organized the #globalsussexbabyshower and donated to charities associated with Meghan in her honor.

The fundraising campaign started on Twitter, the Daily Mail explained; a fan account suggested donating to the Mayhew animal rescue, Well Child, and CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education. After the donations began rolling in, the pair responded directly via their Instagram, writing: “What an incredibly special surprise the grassroots led #globalsussexbabyshower was last Sunday! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are immensely grateful for the outpouring of love and support in anticipation of the birth of their first child.” They also suggested other organizations, including Lunchbox Fund, Little Village HQ, and Baby2Baby, with a focus on helping children in need, and followed with posts on each group.

It seems like Harry and Meghan and their advisors have decided the move in respect to the raging trollstorm online is to engage with the fandom and drown out the obsessives. The play is not without its risks—the easiest way to muffle it all would likely be to withdraw entirely to their palaces and minimize any back-and-forth with the rest of the world. But then, they wouldn’t have the same amount of influence or ability to direct attention to their chosen causes, and the monarchy is dependent on a certain amount of public engagement. Their platform is growing every day, Vanity Fair noted:

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex already have 4.1 million followers as of Saturday, and set world records for reaching the first million in under six hours—claiming the title from K-Pop star Kang Daniel, who himself bested the record of Pope Francis. In their first post, the royal couple stated of the account, “we look forward to sharing the work that drives us, the causes we support, important announcements, and the opportunity to shine a light on key issues.”

Your homework assignment for the day: Would Prince Albert have been an online influencer? Why or why not? Explain your reasoning.

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