The glamorous world of the social media influencer hides a much more troubling truth — bad contracts, broken promises and a lack of regulation taint an otherwise highly profitable and beneficial new way of marketing

SINGAPORE (Mar 25): The world’s youngest billionaire is Kylie Jenner, the youngest sister in the infamous Kardashian clan. She has about 129 million followers on Instagram, where she posts mainly pictures of herself in various outfits and partying hard. But Jenner has leveraged the platform to launch a successful cosmetics business, which sold more than US$600 million ($810.5 million) worth of products within two years of starting up.

Dubai-based Huda Kattan has quite a similar story, although her path to fame was very different. She was out of a job and in 2010 went to make-up school, video-blogging by night. In 2013, a small loan from her sister helped kick-start her business. Today, she helms a billion-dollar eponymous beauty business and is one of the most influential people on Instagram, reportedly being paid as much as AED66,000 ($24,272) for each endorsement.

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