These days, on the internet, sponsored posts are everywhere you look. Most are marked as such.
As a teenager, I used to buy and read computer magazines. Then music and lifestyle magazines in my early 20s.
Then I read Branded.
Then I worked for a not-insignificant music distributor, whose online store's "Best Selling" section was hand-picked.
Ever since, I've kept an eye on the mechanics of media.
Today it never fails to catch my attention that something is sponsored, or supported, or in any other way promoted by initiative not from a publication's editor but by a third party.
I keep going back to the time of those magazines. The content in them was the same kind of promoted etc. Except it wasn't ever marked explicitly as such.
And in some way, I feel I was better off, not knowing.
Because it was less demoralising.
Fast forward to now. Something, something, algorithms.
It's an odd meta when viral content is produced intentionally.