It may be easy to hate influencers, whose job is essentially to live a life better than yours (and then sell you on it), but the career has gone from punchline to a $5 billion to $10 billion industry in its own right. Influencers garner more trust than celebrities and athletes, and more than half of young Americans aged 13 to 38 have made a purchase based on the view of someone in their social media feeds; 86% would try to do it on their own, given the chance. Some 88% of consumers now trust online recommendations as much as face-to-face recommendations. Luxury brands specifically rely on influencers, outpacing mass brands when it comes to interactions per post. Car companies experience elevated degrees of social media engagement from car buyers, too, reaching 75% and higher. Volvo generated $5 million worth of media exposure after just two weeks of working with Aimee Song, a young woman in L.A. whom they hired to promote a new SUV last year. Read more at Bloomberg.