London - There is a new type of entrepreneur: women who are using “sexy selfies” to turn their social media feeds into lucrative businesses.

Renee Somerfield, 23, is one of these Instagram babes.

The Sydney-born model kickstarted her career by posting thousands of photos – mostly of herself in a bikini – on Instagram.

Somerfield has more than 430 000 followers on the image-sharing website and was featured on the cover of this month’s Maxim Australia magazine in a shoot titled “Australia’s sexiest social media stars”.

Somerfield has used her Instagram popularity to break into a difficult industry and says she has big plans for this year, hinting that she plans to launch a swimwear line.

The other sexy social media stars who featured in the Maxim shoot alongside Somerfield were Australian model, actress and swimwear designer Sheridyn Fisher, who has more than 560 000 followers on Instagram, and model Ellie Gonsalves, who has more than 220 000 followers.

These Aussie Instagrammers follow in the tradition of US social media star Jen Selter, 20, whose social media account boasts more than 1.8 million followers, including pop star Rihanna.

Selter is famous for her large butt, and regularly posts “body selfies” – photos of her squatting, or in tight-fitting leggings with her bottom centre-frame – which regularly receive more than 70 000 likes.

The Instagram star has skipped college to pursue online fame and has made deals with New York water company NY20 and nutrition supplement company Game Plan Nutrition.

She won’t disclose how much her Instagram presence has earned her, but she is already planning her next venture – her own line of workout wear. “Everyone always wants to know what leggings I’m wearing. So why not make my own?” She may also launch a chain of “like cool gyms, like with some glowing stuff”, she told the New York Post. – Daily Mail