Virtual Influencers Dominate Instagram

A new wave of online personalities known as virtual influencers are taking over our Instagram feeds.

While we won’t see bots roaming our streets, you can find them online – either promoting the latest fashion trends or blogging their digital lives.

These virtual influencers have no fault of their own – their hair and makeup are flawless, they can sing, dance and be free from career-ending scandals. But what exactly?

Who are the virtual influencers?

Virtual Influencers are computer-generated (CGI) fictional people managed via software by companies around the world.

These real-life influencers usually build a following on social media where they post about their “life” and talk to their fans – Meta even checks out 35 virtual influencers on Instagram.

They can either be representatives of the brand to help promote the company’s services or products or they can collaborate with brands – like their human counterparts.

How do virtual influencers work?

Brands all over the world are using virtual influencers as a new marketing solution to reach new audiences.

“Big companies and creators want to use Rozy as a model,” Sidus Studio X, creators of South Korean virtual influencer Rozy, said after its launch in 2020.

“This year, we expect to easily reach over KRW 2 billion (about US$1.52 million) in earnings, just with Rozy,” Sidus Studio X CEO Baek Sung Yup told CNN.

Once Rozy’s popularity skyrocketed, Studio X secured more sponsorships with media companies and luxury brands including Hermes and Chanel.

However, while collaborations work similarly to human influencers, their virtual competitors take a lot less time and work to produce content and will forever be young — mostly from their 16s to their mid-20s.

Most Popular Virtual Influencers

1. Lil Miquela – 3 million followers on Instagram

Miquela Souza, aka Lil Miquela, is a 19-year-old Los Angeles-based robot who has collaborated with top fashion brands Dior and Prada, and worked with model Bella Hadid on the Calvin Klein campaign.

The Brazilian-American robot was created by a Los Angeles-based startup called Brud, which works in robotics and artificial intelligence.

She released one single, ‘Not Mine’ in 2017, and was included in the the time The most influential people in 2018.

2. Lu do Magalu – 5.9 million followers on Instagram

The Brazilian virtual influencer is the brainchild of e-commerce site Luiza Magazine.

She’s the virtual spokesperson for Brazilian retailer Magalu and uses her social media to promote reviews, offer product advice, and put out videos and updates about the brand.

The company created it in 2003 and is currently the most followed virtual influencer in 2022.

3. Knox Frost – 634K followers on Instagram

The 21-year-old Virtual Influencer is from Atlanta and was created by the social media marketing company Influential.

The self-proclaimed “Global Transformer” is using his platform to promote and advocate for social causes, collaborating with the World Health Organization to spread awareness about the coronavirus.

A representative for Influential Buzzfeed The Knox partnership was to make sure people stay healthy and to donate to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

“While Knox Frost may be a hypothetical human being, he is making a real impact in the world during this time of need,” they said.

4. Blawko – 140K followers on Instagram

Ronald F. Blauco, aka Blauco, was also created by the Los Angeles-based startup Broad.

He has been described as a “sex symbol for a young robot” and is known for his many tattoos and street style.

The virtual influencer owns his own YouTube channel and is also in an on/off relationship with fellow robot, Bermuda.

5. Emma – 406K followers on Instagram

Emma is the first virtual model and influencer created by Aww Inc. in Tokyo, Japan.

Known for her signature pink short bob and sophisticated style, she has collaborated with luxury brands like Nike, Puma, Dior, and Valentino.

Also selected by Japanese entertainment economy For the “New 100 Talent to Watch” cover was honored Grazia magazine.

Originally Posted as virtual influencers rivaling human Instagram models

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