If you’ve ever envied the SWAG, free trips, and constant influx of “likes” heaped upon social media influencers (and let’s be real, who among us hasn’t?) but questioned the specifics of how to build your own Insta empire, well, you’re in luck: Conde Nast Italia has announced that they’re building a Social Academy through which they’ll train a whole new generation of people for everyone to be jealous of.
The program, whose inaugural class began their studies this November, is based in Milan and is open to all high school graduates at least 19 years of age. No word on what kind of SAT score you might need to get into such a place, but it’s probably safe to say that the number they’re more interested in is your follower count. There’s also no word on how much the whole thing costs, but according to WWD, upon graduation, these wide-eyed social media pupils “will be integrated in Condé Nast’s network of social influencers,” which basically means the experience is priceless. Or will, at the very least, be quickly recouped in the form of free designer bags.
While this year’s class counts just 20 students, all of whom are budding beauty and lifestyle gurus, the academy has plans to double class size next year and expand into the tech and food spheres.
But what, you may be wondering, does one learn at influencer school? Most flattering Snapchat filters? Hashtagging for maximum exposure without appearing too thirsty? How to pose perched upon your legs with your back arched, like a sexy baby deer? Not quite. They’ll learn audience engagement, community management, SEO, video and photo editing, and content strategy.
According to Conde Nast Italia CEO Fedele Usai: “This is our social responsibility, we have to train people. And if one day a company will need trained and professional influencers, we will be the only ones to be able to provide them.”
Why anyone would “need” professional influencers is unclear, but the silver lining to such a program may be that it can open doors for people who wouldn’t necessarily have a clear pathway to influencer-dom otherwise. And that’s something we can all benefit from, if only because it makes our feeds feel less homogenous.