The Instagram Account Where Rich Kids Pay Thousands Just For A Shoutout
Throughout history, nothing has motivated mankind quite as much as the allure of wealth. In ancient Egypt, so important was the fortune amassed by Pharaohs and their royal subjects, that jewels and gold adorned not only their tombs, but their own sarcophagus as it was believed they would take their loot into the afterlife. We might have moved on a fair bit since then (to our knowledge the whole idea of having your body embalmed pre-burial is slightly out-dated), but wealth continues to be a flex we enjoy showing off every now and then.
For some though, wealth isn’t something to just be flaunted to their peers but advertised to the masses. And one Instagram account is making such dreams happen, with rich teens spending thousands of dollars for the sake of clout.
Enter: @golden_pricetag. The handle alone gives you some indication of what the page is all about, but for the uninitiated it’s basically a platform for kids to spend obscene amounts of money just to have their wealth advertised. For a minimum of $US1,000 (approx. $1,457), users can have their photo posted to the account, consequently reminding everyone just how rich they are.
The app requires proof of identification in the form of a government-issued ID and copies of recent bank statements if a transaction is deemed “high risk,” ensuring that only the most legit rich people are featured.
More interestingly however is the fact that the account is also linked to a website that shows how much people spent on each post. So far, the highest bidder has paid the hefty price of $4,371 for a post that garnered just 125 likes. FYI, it was a cellphone-quality pic of himself sitting in a sports car. They may as well have just bought a billboard and installed it in a high-traffic area for that amount. Also, the post since looks to have been removed.
According to the site’s creator, Leonard Weinstock, it all started as a personal project. The 20-year old spent the last year learning to code and created Golden Price Tag simple to hone his skills. After sending the project to friends around his native Berlin, he merely thought to experiment and see who would be willing to spend more than $1,000 on a post. Turns out, quite a lot of people.
Now, the account has over 3,500 followers and has been featured in a variety of outlets and blogs. In an interview with Mashable, Weinstock said: “It’s a pretty unique and controversial concept which makes it an easy target to make fun of.”
He went on to add, “And with the direction this project is taking, it’s better for golden pricetag to be infamous than not famous at all and every news article helps with that.”
“What will really be interesting to see is what sort of dynamic will occur now that the word is out that this site exists,” he said. “Are there more people who are willing to pay $1,000 and if yes, what are their motivations?”
It’s interesting that the flex of wealth on Instagram is taking off just as the platform has moved to wipe likes from each post, an experiment that has been rolled out to a select few countries including Australia.
The development was one that sought to rebrand Instagram from a platform that has since become a popularity contest, to what its creators originally intended: one of self-expression and storytelling.
As Instagram chief Adam Mosseri explained, Instagram has come to feel like a competition where one’s aesthetic beauty trumps their personal message, leading all of us to fall into the trap of comparison as likes are conflated with self-worth.
But it seems likes are just the beginning, with people clearly willing to spend big money on having their wealth flaunted like some kind of celebrity taking to Forbes Richest People of 2019 list. While the rest of us have rent and student loans to deal with, some Instagram users have bigger dollars to spend – all in a bid to secure their position on the highest-bidder website board.