The computer-generated testimonials appear deceptively real in their presentation on the Internet. The posts are emotional, they show the hobbies and travels of the influencers. Everything seems real, so real that sometimes you have to look twice to see that this is not about real people at all.
Avatar influencers are created by individuals or companies and are mostly used for digital marketing purposes. The fictional profiles create content and share it, just like a normal account or an influencer. The relevance and trend of avatar influencers increased rapidly in recent years. Avatars can be represented in different sizes and shapes and thus represent different brands, individuals or companies.
What is meant by the term virtual influencer:in?
Virtual influencers are artificially created online profiles that have their own profile in social media. They originated in the gaming and science fiction scene. Now they are taking up more and more space in social media. The world's largest virtual influencer, @magazineluiza, currently has 32 million followers on social media. On Instagram alone, she has 6.3 million followers.
Accounts like these have the ability to engage millions of followers on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook with their real-life posts - even though they're not real. They present themselves as deceptively real on the social network. Whether it's their favorite hobby, traveling, or everyday life, avatar influencers try to communicate and interact with the target group as closely as possible.
It's clear that it's still real people who are ahead on social media. Nevertheless, the reach of avatar influencers is increasing more and more, making them a serious competitor.
How do digital avatars work?
Nothing changes in the old familiar Influencer:innen concept, only that the content on the respective platform is generated by an AI and just no real people shows more. virtual Influencer is created and no longer by a real person. This avatar influencer then also creates the respective image, video or GIF itself, which then spreads on the social network.
What role do virtual influencers play in the real world?
Virtual influencers can be controlled directly by a company. In principle, all employees can build content, which makes working with them much more flexible. The fact that there is no real influencer behind the profile creates a significant advantage here. There is no need to adhere to real schedules and human needs of the testimonial, as this fictitious avatar is designed only for the purpose of digital marketing for the company and is therefore controllable. The so-called "corporate avatar" can convey the needs of the target group to the outside world without complications.
The computer-generated influencers can cover different areas and topics. Whether beauty and fashion or technology and gaming. One advantage is that this allows people to save face on the social network and remain anonymous by using virtual faces. This increases privacy protection and ensures security on the net.
What challenges could virtual influencers pose for us?
The obviousness of an AI's presence on the social network can weaken traditional trust, as people in the digital world are used to real influencers. Authenticity and personal closeness decreases and can thus lead to doubts. The humanity in the relationship between the influencer and the target group is usually what the target group highly values in an influencer, which is put to the test by the new concept. Especially since the conception and creation of an avatar is time-consuming and expensive.
Avatar influencers represent a groundbreaking expansion of opportunities for businesses, that much is certain. As brand ambassadors, they strengthen the company's image. They're always evolving and being updated with the latest trends.
Despite some challenges, this new emerging force in social media can also provide more breakthrough of own brands and thus be used as an unbeatable marketing tool that will be accessible to everyone.
It remains to be seen how this trend will develop in the near future, but one thing is certain - with the ever-increasing role of artificial intelligence and VR, we are likely to see and hear from these digital creatures even more often. It won't be long before they become an integral part of our online culture.
Jason Schmitt is a german digital media specialist, experienced in VR/AR applications, social media and content creation. He is an award-winner of international competitions in the Design, Marketing and Sales sector.