Many research studies have studied how social media influencers can influence followers’ attitudes or behaviors. They showed how the users reflect themselves through the images on social media. Uses and gratifications approach explains that individuals have a choice to choose what media they use to satisfy their inherent needs and wants. Social influence theory explains how attitudes or behaviors of people are influenced by other people. Based on these theories and approaches, this research aimed to find out why Instagram users follow beauty influencers, and whether there is an attitude change towards products endorsed by beauty Instagram influencers. An online survey was conducted through this quantitative research, and 92 undergraduate students at Rochester Institute of Technology completed the survey. As a result of factor analysis and regression analysis of the survey, this research identified four motivations of following beauty influencers: Entertainment, Information, Favorability, and Surveillance. This research also found a significant relationship between influencer’s attractiveness and attitudes towards endorsed products. This research focused on motivations of following beauty influencers, so it could contribute to the knowledge that is about the motivations of following social media influencers. In addition, this research identified that the motivations of using social media and the motivations of following beauty influencers were similar. Moreover, this research could contribute to knowledge about the social influence theory in social media. This research showed that how the social influence theory could be applied to relationships between influencers and followers in social media. Therefore, this research also could contribute to the knowledge of identification in social media.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Instagram (Firm)--Public opinion; Internet personalities--Public opinion; Beauty culture--Public opinion; Beauty, Personal--Public opinion; Internet marketing--Public opinion; College students--New York (State)--Rochester--Attitudes; Motivation (Psychology)

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Communication (CLA)


Eun Sook Kwon

Advisor/Committee Member

Jonathan Schroeder

Advisor/Committee Member

Kelly Norris Martin


This thesis has been embargoed. The full-text will be available on or around 7/30/2022.


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes