In Mexico, influencers also have their Oscars

And the winner is… a 16-year-old teenager who posts videos about his life on the farm, rewarded during a new kind of ceremony, celebrating the best influencers of the year, at a time when their activity enters in the age of suspicion.

Big hat, brown curls, angelic smile, the Colombian Carlos Alberto Diaz, alias “lagranjadelborrego” (the lamb farm in Spanish), was honored in the category of the best creators of educational content, during an award ceremony TikTok, Tuesday night in Mexico City.

On his account, which claims 16.5 million subscribers, “El Borrego” recounts his life as a “nice farmer” in the region of Cundinamarca (central Colombia), and the care he lavishes on his animals (lambs, foals, chicks). “Everyday I record videos, watch trends, what people like”says the high school student, who of course seeks to monetize his content, like the hundred or so nominees that evening.

Open shirt collar like a movie star, Ruben Tuesta won a “TikTok award” in the category of “masters of Lol” (humor). With his videos parodying ordinary scenes of family life, Tuesta claims 28 million subscribers on TikTok, 11 million on YouTube… spread throughout Latin America. “Most are between 18 and 25 years old”explains the Peruvian who lives in Buenos Aires.

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The 25-year-old influencer makes a living selling her prescription power to brands. “You make them a video. They pay you to make the brand visible.”

“Borrego”, Tuesta, as well as hundreds of influencers and their fans took over the studios of Televisa, the Mexican television network which hosted and broadcast the ceremony on one of its channels.

The nominees walked down a Hollywood-style red carpet before heading into the awards room.

As at the Oscars or the Grammys, the nominees were divided into categories, 14 in total: “masters of flavors”, “beauty artist”, “pro of the gaming“, “best new artist”, or even “trend of the year”. The vote to designate the winners was open to the general public of users since January 16.

Whirlwind of controversy

Also on Sunday in Mexico City, thousands attended the Esland Awards for Best Spanish Language Streamers on YouTube and Twitch.

“Film has the Oscars, music has the Grammys and content creation has the Eslands”proclaimed the organizers, including Spanish youtuber David Cánovas, alias TheGrefg, quoted by the Spanish newspaper El País.

Launched in May last year, TikTok Awards have already taken place elsewhere in the world. The first edition in France took place on November 14 in Paris, to reward “the most significant campaigns broadcast on the platform in 2022”had indicated the platform.

TikTok claimed over a billion regular users in September 2021, just four years after it was launched by Chinese group ByteDance. Its CEO, Shou Zi Chew, will be heard by the US Congress on March 23 regarding the app’s impact on children and the platform’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.

US conservative elected officials accuse TikTok of being a tool of espionage or propaganda in the service of Beijing. On January 10 in Brussels, European leaders called on the same CEO of TikTok to respect “entirely” EU rules on data protection and the fight against disinformation.

Prescribers on social networks for a good ten years now, influencers have also found themselves at the heart of several controversies.

In the United States, eight of them were charged with fraud for advising their subscribers to buy shares they planned to sell on the stock exchange.

In France, a deputy presented a bill to put an end to a “law void”. It plans to create a legal status for influencers and to prohibit them from promoting certain products (medicines, financial investments, etc.). The text will be examined by the Assembly by the end of March.

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In Mexico, influencers also have their Oscars