IN a world of social media, billions of people use apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every day. Some users have taken statuses, posts and updates a step further showing there is real money to be made, but it is not for the faint-hearted. HELENA VESTY finds out more about Bolton's biggest social media stars.

Perhaps the most successful of the town's internet sensations is Jack Morris. A former carpet cleaner born and raised in Harwood, he now lives in Bali when he's not being paid to tour the world.

At 28-years-old, he had conquered the picture and video platform, Instagram. After downloading Instagram in its infancy around eight years ago, he has used the platform to share his adventures around the globe — earning him 2.5 million followers. His travel account, @doyoutravel, features over 700 picture perfect shots of him "livin' on the road" in more than 60 countries.

Once his following skyrocketed, so many worldwide brands came calling that he enlisted the services of a full-time manager to cope with the influx of interest in his potential as an advertiser.

Mr Morris said: "I’ve worked on huge campaigns with brands such as Disney, Beats by Dre, American Express, Land Rover, DJI, Omega, including yearly contracts with some of them.

"It’s probably a 50/50 split in terms of travelling for work or pleasure these days. If it’s a job then it’s normally a set itinerary with various photo opportunities to highlight the brand.

"One of my favourite jobs was with Land Rover. They wanted me to promote the Land Rover experience by flying me out to Namibia to road trip for a week in their new Land Rover whilst documenting it all on Instagram.

"Other jobs might be product placement so I’ll just take the product with me on whatever trip I decide to go on for fun, and shoot it naturally whilst using it one day."

It's lucrative work. Mr Morris and his partner, a fellow Instagram influencer, "hit seven figures in a year" between work on the platform and their online store, which sells tools to edit photos.

After making his social media presence his career, Mr Morris did his version of an office upgrade to propel him even further.

He said: "I went from using an iPhone only to now where I have 3 professional cameras, 6 lenses, underwater housing, drones, and so on."

After beauty blogger Lauren Paynter experienced a similar shock growth in her followers, she too decided to improve her kit for social media. Ms Paynter spent £700 on a camera and another £180 on equipment.

The 30-year-old mother of two from Breightmet began posting photos as a hobby and built over 8,000 followers, but is now feeling the pressures of having a public profile.

She said: "It's always on my mind. My week will revolve around putting content. It will play on my mind."

Similarly, Instagrammer Arianna Ajtar found it difficult to reconcile her origins with social media. While she has made a career on her image to an audience of over 311,000, she has also had "ups and downs". She said: "I am originally from Breightmet which often comes as a shock to people.

"I used to be embarrassed of this because people in school used to name call it for being considered a “rough” area, but I’m now proud of my roots and wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for this."

Considering her time on Instagram, Ms Paynter says it's important to take a balanced approach. She said: "It's a mixed bag. There are a lot of opportunities but it can be detrimental to mental health. There's a lot of pressures, you have to be very careful."