the social media content creators of the new era ”
We all remember growing up watching sci-fi movies about humans and robot interaction in the distant future, right ?. These films made us imagine several scenarios linked to an ecosystem of spaces shared between us and machines and endless possibilities. However, none of the storylines or stories could have predicted this interaction as we see it now. We may not currently have AI to drive our day-to-day public transportation, but surely we see CGI promoting electric vehicles.
And the same goes for influencer marketing. We see a one-of-a-kind character, something no one had imagined before – a new kind of social media influencer, those who don’t age and bleed. Interesting, isn’t it?
Virtual influencers have taken the internet by storm these days. Recently we have seen Rozy, South Korea’s first virtual influencer grab the headlines by earning nearly 854,007 KRW (about 6 crore Indian rupees) with 100 mentions. But it’s not Rozy who is the only one making money, the world of virtual influencers is growing every week. The global influencer marketing platform market size is expected to reach $ 84.89 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 30.3% during the forecast period. With a growing market, agencies took notice and started building their own virtual influencers.
But can they compete with humans?
Well, let’s dig deep and understand these influencers first. Virtual influencers are animated or CGI-based characters created by marketing companies to replace human influencers. These virtual avatars can do anything human influencers can do, but with more control and engagement. These are becoming a growing force to be reckoned with. With background stories created and zero aging issues, these virtual influencers are attracting more and more followers day by day.
A shade of luxury, a shade of blue!
It becomes so difficult for a human influencer to always find the right lighting, the right angle, etc. But for these virtual avatars, nothing really matters. The only person who needs to worry about these things is the designer, who spends countless hours creating and editing that perfect clip. These influencers don’t have to worry about managing finances either. If the content requires Rozy to drive in a luxury car, she can have them all at her disposal. While we were all stuck at home, these virtual avatars traveled around the world promoting brands, without masks.
Increase in innovations
If anyone had spoken the word ” quality of life “ in the early 2000s, no one would have believed it. But twenty years later, today, most of us wouldn’t even notice at first glance that these influencers aren’t real. We are right now in the middle of a technological revolution, or rather an AI revolution. Our cars are automating, our human interactions evolve virtually with 3D avatars, almost everything around us today is not controlled by technology with the slightest human involvement. As technology improves, we’ll slowly move towards more realistic CGI effects, but this time around, not just in the movies.
A bright future
The reach of these virtual influencers goes far beyond social media. These have the potential to cater to a wider range of audiences and to be in multiple locations at the same time. They can be aligned with social causes, they can be representatives of cultures and identities. Brands, primarily fashion and luxury brands, now understand the potentials that can be explored with these influencers to better market their products online. It won’t be long when brands from other industries begin to jump on this wagon as well.
As the world around us changes daily, we are more likely to witness such innovations and improvements in our environment. While virtual influencers try to take center stage, they are ultimately a human creation. We could see an influx of virtual influencers in the years to come, but to say that they will completely replace humans is an exaggeration. Human emotion and touch is something that no robot or AI can ever replace. I believe this new innovation will revolutionize the economy of creators, a space where virtual and human influencers can coexist and co-survive.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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