Social Influencers are a growing part of today’s society whether you like it or not, and there’s no signs to show them slowing down. Donned on Instagram in designer clothes and representing brands, these influencers have the power to do just that- convince their large fan bases to purchase or follow a product or organisation. It’s a vital part of the social industry which continues to thrive off the digital realm of likes and comments.
Influencers are seen as near ‘perfect’- with beautifully composed images and flawless skin, these people can almost look non-human because of their minimal flaws. But what’s happening now is due to shake up the future of social impact as we know it and take visual perfection to the next level.
Virtual Influencers are the new ‘it faces’ of social media. They’re taking brand partnerships and stunning images to the next level, simply because they can digitally control each and every aspect of their posts. This is due to the fact that these Virtual Influencers are indeed virtual. These ‘people’ are actually computer-generated figures created in labs and design programs. What you see is not what you get- Virtual Influencers live and breathe only on your screen with a team of real life humans behind them pushing their accounts.
AND SO BEGINS THE RISE OF BOTS HAVING SIGNIFICANT INFLUENCE OVER HUMANS.
Looking at images only, it’s quite difficult to pick that these stars are purely virtual, due in part to their incredible design and artistic approach. It’s quite the compliment to artificial intelligence designers and creators who have learnt to construct bots to look extremely similar to real humans.
Shudu is a rising model on Instagram. Having only been active for a year, she’s gained a dedicated following of over 100,000 people which continues to grow. Her beautiful complexion and slim body are all computer generated, allowing each image to become absolute perfection with her team of designers editing and creating posts to reach maximum leverage. Studio lighting and gorgeous clothing are a mere digital façade allowing extravagant photos to be shared online.
Lil Miquela is the most popular Virtual Influencer to date. The mystery surrounding her account has only pushed her to become more successful. Miquela has gorgeous facial features, big lips and freckles with sleek hair. She’s also a musician, having released music across Spotify. Her Instagram account is the one social source pushing followers to listen and purchase her music. Miquela’s account is run by an unknown source. All 1.1 million followers are so intrigued about her story that they follow and share her account to others. She’s posed with real life influencers like Margaret Zhang and DJ Diplo. So is Miquela a real human who is digitally enhanced, or is she purely a robot? I guess we’re still waiting to find out.
Lines are becoming increasingly blurred in social media. Is it healthy for Virtual Influencers to have a role in today’s society, setting unrealistic standards for young women to look up to? Should they have the right to earn income based on digitally altered brand partnerships? There’s lots of questions that come into play in this new virtual era. But after all, aren’t we all Virtual Influencers if our followers only connect with us on our digital platforms rather than face to face?