Natalia Taylor, 23 from California, who has 316,000 Instagram followers, had an impromptu photoshoot at IKEA to prove to her followers how easy it is to pretend online.

Natalia Taylor, a popular YouTube Vlogger and Instagram Influencer, faked an exotic Bali vacation with a photoshoot at her neighborhood IKEA. Taylor posted the photos to her Instagram page and used the location tag ‘Bali’. Based on the comments, it appears as though many of her followers actually believed that she was in Bali, responding with comments like “Our Bali Princess” and “She really out living her best life”, while others were quick to spot the IKEA price tags in the background.  

The reason for the stunt? Taylor revealed she was determined to find out how easy it would be to fake a luxury getaway after noticing a growing amount of influencers getting caught pretending they have been away through clever photography, or by Photoshopping themselves onto a faux background. In her YouTube video where she talks about her experiment, Taylor says: “It’s been said that life on the Internet isn’t always what it seems, especially in today’s day and age where it’s so easy to pretend to be anyone you want to be.” The video shows Taylor and her photographer walking into IKEA and staging various photos, while customers continue to shop around her. And while Taylor says they worked hard to make the photos look authentic, she also told her photographer to leave in a few clues (like the IKEA price tags in the background) to show her true location. 

The key lesson here? Don’t always believe what you see on the Internet

If you want to build trust with your audience, it’s imperative to stick with honest, quality content.

Published by Merilyn McGonigal

Merilyn McGonigal (alas, no relation to the professor) is a writer and editor based in South Florida. She has crafted content for small businesses, large non-profits, tech startups, and everything in between. Writer by day and reader by night, she loathes to talk about herself in the third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time. So it goes. Find her on Instagram here @MerilynMcg

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