Bermudian social media influencer Kaelyn Kastle gets accolade from US magazine Forbes
A top business magazine has highlighted Bermudian Kaelyn Kastle in its prestigious “30 Under 30” list of young entrepreneurs, leaders and stars published this week.
Ms Kastle, a musician based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a member of Collab Crib, an eight-member group and video studio which business bible Forbes said was the “largest” Black collective of digital influencers.
Three members of Collab Crib made the list in the magazine’s social media category in the tenth 30 Under 30.
Forbes wrote: “Together, the eight-person group has amassed 30 million followers across social media, but Collab Crib's success remains a rarity among influencers of colour.”
The bias of social media algorithms has been spotlighted several times by Ms Kastle, including in The Royal Gazette.
She said in June: “Being a Black creator – or even me being a darker-skinned Black creator – in America has been quite difficult.
“I’ve been submitted for brand deals and sponsorships alongside White creators that I have worked with and collaborated with and sometimes the numbers come back and they’re way different.
“The pay gap is substantial – we’re talking thousands of dollars.”
Ms Kastle’s assessment of the industry was highlighted the month by The New York Times in the newspaper’s TV series The Weekly.
She also gave an hour-long interview last month on Bermuda’s Channel 82.
She said brands were often reluctant to work with Black influencers because of “stereotypes” and apps often suppressed Black content, although White creators used trends initiated by Black counterparts.
But she added that Collab Crib had changed outlooks because of the mass it had been able to develop.
Ms Kastle said: “When we joined forces and integrated our following, it became like brands could not tell us ‘no’. It’s too many of us.”
Forbes honoured Ms Kastle with other Collab Crib members Khamyra Sykes and Theo Wisseh in its North America 2022 list, which came out on Wednesday.