It should come as no surprise that only days after the Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage, the White House continued to loosen the reigns. A true sign that social media has infiltrated every nook and cranny of our society, the White House legalized the #WhiteHouseSelfie (but to be certain, selfie sticks are still banned).

That’s right people: get your smartphone, rock up to The White House, and start snapping those selfies with Barack.

Until now during White House tours no photos of any kind were allowed. The government wised up; likely recognizing that shrouded secrecy stemming from ages ago is passé and not winning any extra votes.

D.C. is slow to jump on the #selfie bandwagon, in fact. Last year during the government coup in Thailand a #Soldierselfie hashtag went viral on Twitter and Instagram. Selfie pics of Thais and Foreigners alike hit the scene, with soldiers and their machineguns all the social media rage. #Soldierselfies were a natural response from one of many cultures obsessed with selfies, after the Thai military had shut down TV broadcasts across the country.

Although in many respect the motivation of the Thai #soldierselfie craze is unrelated to the #WhiteHouseSelfie, both intricately link social media, government, and the power of the people. These widespread social media cultural phenomenon, much like influencer marketing, send strong branding messages to nations and to the world. The photos send messages from the people, rather than large organizations, governments, or the ubiquitous “Man”.

Taking a look back at the state of Brazil in 2013 we see the power of social media used from a slightly different angle of the people of Brazil. For weeks on end, Brazilians chatted and organized on Facebook how to stand up to their corrupt government. Brazilians from around the world read word of peaceful protest plans and flew home to support their country and loved ones. Thanks to social media, pictures, and posts, tens of millions of people around the world were then offered a frightening inside look into one of the largest riots of people vs. government in Brazil for the first time since the 1980’s.

In all three countries we see cases of social media shaping the landscape of news and real time coverage of world events today. No longer must we depend on one single-source, biased news network to feed us information about what’s happening in the world today. It is the people who shape content, who shape the news, and who have the power to show us an inside look into what’s happening around the world.

It is no accident that our tagline at HireInfluence is “Powered by Audiences”. This is indeed the way of the future, and the way of the present. As part of an influential audience shaping the world and its perceptions, what role do you play? How will you contribute? Comments welcome below!