So-called "influencers" are the modern celebrity, wielding the power of social media rather than mass media to build and leverage their personal brands.
The timeline below shows global online news mentions of "(influencer OR influencers)" from January 2017 to present, showing the steady month-over-month rise of the term's popularity globally starting in early 2018.
On television, the timeline below shows the terms' popularity on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News from July 2009 to present. In this case, MSNBC is an early adopter of the term, really ramping up starting in 2015 and peaking last year, while sharply decreasing in 2019, while Fox News and CNN really increased in 2018, like online news.
The timeline below shows US-based search interest in the word "influencer" (the plural is identical) showing the term taking off in 2016, ramping up in 2017 and exploding in 2018, mirroring that of online and television coverage.
For historical context, the timeline below shows the popularity of the word "influencer" in English-language books in Google Books 1800-2000 via the Google Books Ngram Viewer. Here the term's roots can be seen to lie in the 1950's, perhaps with the rise of television stars, peaking in 1970 through 1980 and then decreasing ever since, only to be resurrected in the social media era of today.