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Meet the niche influencers getting rich from Instagram, TikTok and YouTube - but can it last?

Influencers are now part of a £6 billion industry, which is expected to double in the next three years.

And what does the future of social media influencers look like?

Gone are the days where influencers could look like this. Credit: ITV News

We met three online content creators (as they prefer to be known), who are breaking the influencer stereotype.

Lucy Harper makes ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos on YouTube, they’re immersive virtual reality videos which focus on creating sounds that invoke a tingling sensation in the audience.

Her videos last from 20 minutes to two hours and thousands tune in to watch her.

Brands now pay Lucy to feature their products in her videos, which is where she makes the majority of her full-time income.

Lucy Harper makes ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos on YouTube. Credit: ITV News

But despite making between three to £16,000 for a sponsored post, Samira Kazan - otherwise known by her handle @alphafoodie - refuses to give up the day job.

Samira is a physics and maths tutor, but is wary of relying on platforms like Instagram for her full-time income because she doesn't trust in the stability of social media.

"One day there might be Instagram and the next day there might not be."

And that’s a worry for many influencers, who have seen giant social media platforms come and go like Vine.

Samira Kazan is wary of relying on platforms like Instagram for her full-time income. Credit: ITV News

Sara McCorquodale, who tracks the increasing power of influencers, believes the type of content we see online is likely to change.

"We're going to move towards a kind of style of influencer content and entertainment, which is less dominated by consumerism and goes back to the heart of why the influencers were compelling in the first place."

So where’s this industry heading?

NEW LIFE.AI is one of the new up-and-coming platforms. Credit: ITV News

There are new platforms emerging like NEW LIFE.AI, the content that appears on user's feeds are determined by self-appointed algorithms, so they're not ranked by likes or watches.

But one platform which has grown rapidly over the last year is TikTok.

TikTok launched in 2016 and is now bigger than Twitter and Snapchat with over a billion downloads and half a billion active users.

Making people like Vicky Banham very attractive to advertisers.

More people are using TikTok than Twitter and Snapchat. Credit: ITV News

Vicky has 1.3 million followers on the platform, which is mainly used by 16-24 year olds.

Recently she's been approached to start making branded content by companies like Sony Films and Nickelodeon.

And as the users ages up with the platform, Vicky believes companies should be paying more attention to the app.

"I think brands should be looking into TikTok seriously - I think this demographic is overlooked in terms of its importance."

Vicky Banham's Instagram account. Credit: ITV News

This year, brands like Estee Lauder have shifted 75% of their entire global marketing budget to spend on influencer marketing, but are they worth the investment?

Harry Hugo, the co-founder of GOAT, a digital marketing company connects brands to influencers - believes influencers link brands with far more targeted audiences.

"If we look at digital and social versus TV and radio where it's incredibly broad - you've just got to hope you hit the people that you want, instead with digital, social and influencers you can go really granular, really niche and we've found if you go with niche content to niche audiences at scale you get the best results."

But despite social media forever changing, Sara doesn't believe the influencer bubble will burst anytime soon.

"The only way that we will see the end of influencers or influencers no longer being relevant is if we no longer use social media."