The power of digital influencers has increased significantly in the social media era. These influencers hold millions of people’s attention, influencing trends and consumer behavior in everything from fashion and beauty to lifestyle and entertainment. Virtual influencers powered by artificial intelligence (AI), however, represent a newer phenomenon. These computer-generated personalities are attracting audiences, erasing the distinction between fact and fiction, and reversing preconceived notions about what it means to be an influencer.
The Rise of Virtual Influencers:
Virtual influencers are AI-powered avatars designed to communicate with their followers on social media platforms by simulating human behavior. Virtual influencers, unlike their human counterparts, are entirely digital; they were developed utilizing state-of-the-art tools including 3D modeling, animation, and natural language processing. These computer-generated characters have become very popular, gaining sizable fan bases, securing corporate deals, and even working with actual influencers.
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One of the well-known virtual influencer Lil Miquela has teamed up with tech giant Samsung to redefine creativity and technology, merging her captivating persona with Samsung’s groundbreaking innovations. Together, they inspire and reshape our relationship with the digital world. Also, the collaboration between Shudu, the world’s first virtual supermodel, and Balmain, the renowned fashion powerhouse, has sparked a new era of innovation and creativity in the fashion industry. Last but not least, CapitaLand Investment’s virtual influencer, Rae, secures a major win at the 2023 SBR Technology Excellence Awards, proving her motto “I don’t dream, I do. Byte me.” This victory highlights the significant impact of virtual influencers in reshaping technology and marketing. Rae’s dynamic digital presence, combined with CapitaLand Investment’s innovative strategies, has propelled them to the forefront of the industry. This recognition solidifies their commitment to action and innovation in the digital realm.
Advantages and Benefits:
Virtual influencers have a number of advantages that traditional influencers might not have. They are able to work endlessly because they are available always, without a need for rest or pauses. They are able to engage with their audience and continuously produce material as a result of maintaining a constant presence on social media channels. Virtual influencers are also not limited by geographic or demographic restrictions, which makes them approachable to audiences everywhere.
The ability of virtual influencers to embody an idealized image is another benefit. They are idealized by their fans because, as AI-powered constructs, they can emulate any desired aesthetic and have immaculate appearances. Virtual influencers can encourage customer desire and create brand engagement by utilizing this idealized picture.
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Journey from the First Digital Influencer to the Future:
Digital content creators, while garnering more attention recently, actually have roots that date back even further. Shudu Gram (@shudu.gram), the world’s first digital supermodel created by Cameron James Wilson, can be considered as the first digital influencer. Years ago, at the INFLOW Global Summit 2019 event where I was a speaker, Wilson’s inspiring ideas about new creation methods were actually pointing towards our present time. During this event, we engaged in significant discussions and explorations about the future of digital content creators. You can watch the entire speech below.
Challenges and Ethical Considerations:
While virtual influencers offer unique opportunities, they also present several challenges and ethical considerations. One concern is transparency. Since virtual influencers are AI creations, it is harder to distinguish between truth and fiction. To guarantee that audiences are aware they are dealing with fictional characters and not real people, disclosure of their virtual nature is essential. Keeping things open reduces the chance of misleading followers while also fostering confidence.
The potential effect on human influences is another ethical factor to take into account. Virtual influencers may supplant real producers from brand relationships and collaborations as they become more prominent. The market needs to strike a balance that recognizes the importance of genuine human experiences and skills while ensuring that real and virtual influencers coexist.
Virtual influencers powered by AI are a fascinating development in the realm of social media and influencer marketing. While they present unique advantages and opportunities, ethical considerations and transparency should remain at the forefront. Virtual influencers, like Lil Miquela, have the potential to reshape the influencer.
Digital Content Creators and Artificial Intelligence: Do You Think They’re Influencers of the Future?
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