The Influencer Factory
A Marxist Theory of Corporate Personhood on YouTube
Grant Bollmer and Katherine Guinness


Further Viewing


Some of the videos that were essential to our analysis are listed here. For readers so inclined to delve into our primary sources, we encourage you to watch these with our arguments in mind, along with other videos created by those listed here and elsewhere in this book.


Kara Del Toro reveals the secret of the no-mirror mirror selfie. Kara Del Toro (@karajewel), “Secrets bloggers don’t want you to know part 1,” TikTok, February 1, 2021,


Elsie Larson gives a tour of the home A Beautiful Mess purchased and renovated to donate to Habitat for Humanity. Source: A Beautiful Mess “ABM Habitat House Tour (Before + After),” July 31, 2015,

Elsie Larson shows off the renovations of her Nashville home. A Beautiful Mess, “Elsie’s Home Video Tour,” November 6, 2019,

Gamer and YouTube star PewDiePie reacts to a home tour video of Emma Chamberlain’s new home. AnyHome, “PewDiePie Reacts to Emma Chamberlain's $3.9 Million Dollar Home,” June 23, 2021,

Jeffree Star shows off his lavish home in Hidden Hills, CA. Jeffree Star (jeffreestar), “Official Jeffree Star DREAM House Tour!” YouTube, January 1, 2020,

Mia Maples diagrams her home ownership and living situations while answering viewer questions. Mia Maples, “Relationship Status? Living Situation? New Dog? Answering your questions FINALLY!” YouTube, August 14, 2020,

Mia Maples shows her recording rooms to viewers. Mia Maples, “STUDIO TOUR !! house transformed into a complete YouTube studio,” YouTube, June 11, 2021,


Emma Chamberlain monologues while driving. Emma Chamberlain (emma chamberlain), “i literally lost my car,” YouTube, January 2, 2018,

Nikita Crump explains the day-to-day experience of living in her car. Nikita Crump, “LIVING IN A CAR: Day 366 - How I stay warm/cool at night,” YouTube, November 1, 2020,

Alyssa Vanilla, who lives in her car, describes the perks of travel. Alyssa Vanilla, “how i travel the country alone even though i have anxiety,” YouTube, June 2, 2021,


Emma Chamberlain visits her childhood bedroom and discusses selling various mementos. Source: Emma Chamberlain (emma chamberlain), “my childhood bedroom,” YouTube, November 8, 2021,

Jimmy Donaldson’s recreation of “Squid Game,” which cost more per-minute than the original Netflix series. Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast), “$456,000 Squid Game In Real Life!” YouTube, November 24, 2021,

Ryan Kaji pulls a seemingly endless number of toys from a Papier-mâché egg in one of his most popular videos of all time. Ryan Kaji (Ryan’s World), “GIANT Lightning McQueen Egg Surprise with 100+ Disney Cars Toys,” July 1, 2015,

Jimmy Donaldson buys and trashes a storage unit. Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast), “I Bought An Abandoned Storage Unit And Found This...” YouTube, December 1, 2017,

Hope Allen buys and sifts through an enormous box of Amazon returns. Hope Allen (HopeScope), “I Bought Amazon RETURNS for CHEAP! disaster,” YouTube, March 9, 2021,

Hope Allen discusses the logistics of how she was able to buy a box of Amazon returns. Hope Allen (HopeScope), “I Bought LOST Cargo Packages for CHEAP,” YouTube, December 23, 2021,

Safiya Nygaard visits an Amazon returns store. Safiya Nygaard, “I Went To An Amazon Returns Store,” YouTube, October 14, 2021,

Jenna Phipps documents a thrift store shopping trip. Jenna Phipps, “thrift with me for some trendy y2k clothes \ thrifting value village in vancouver, Canada,” YouTube, January 17, 2021,

Jenna Phipps cleans out her closet to make room for more clothes. Jenna Phipps, “MASSIVE CLOSET CLEAN OUT + CLOSET TOUR… i got rid of half of my clothes,” YouTube, May 12, 2021,

Safiya Nygaard and Tyler Williams try out many cooking tools, including one that peels a sausage. Source: Safiya Nygaard and Tyler Williams (Safiya & Tyler), “Testing Out More Bizarre Kitchen Gadgets from the Internet,” YouTube, August 10, 2021,


Anthony Bender provides tips for “surviving” a job at Amazon. Anthony Bender (Ayebender), “The Truth About Warehouse Work,” YouTube, May 4, 2020,

Ciara Jenae secretly films her last day working for Amazon. Ciara Jenae, “Day in the life of an Amazon Packer Vlog | My Last Day at Amazon,” YouTube, August 24, 2022,

A peek inside Donaldson’s filming studio and warehouse space via a behind-the-scenes video by the effects team hired to help him recreate Squid Games. SoKrispyMedia, “Making MrBeast’s Squid Game in 10 Days,” YouTube, November 27, 2021,

Jimmy Donaldson challenges his friends and one viewer to an escape room challenge in which he will burn their prize money if they fail. Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast), “World’s Most Dangerous Escape Room!” YouTube, January 29, 2022,

The “Sensible Mama” shows off her newly purchased warehouse where she will expand her business. The Sensible Mama, “I BOUGHT A WAREHOUSE // TOUR,” YouTube, January 13, 2020,

Tanner Fox introduces viewers to his future warehouse and game room. Tanner Fox, “I BOUGHT A HUGE WAREHOUSE!!! OFFICIAL TOUR” YouTube, June 6, 2017,