Technology

Introduction to Virtual Influencers in the Metaverse

As the Metaverse, a vision of the future that includes VR, AR and other immersive technologies, grows more popular with consumers, businesses will increasingly rely on “virtual influencers” who look like real-life people. Their potential value is enormous. Not only do they have celebrity-like followings, but because they exist solely online, marketers can track their performance much more closely than they can real-life influencers.

The Metaverse is open 24/7, so a well-designed virtual influencer can work nonstop, unlike a human being who needs to sleep and eat. The first generation of these characters can already be found on Instagram, promoting products such as sunglasses and clothing. In the past year, several virtual influencers have appeared on our feeds.

Some are created by brands to promote their products, while others are the brainchild of marketing agencies. Regardless of origin, they are a new form of celebrity poised to alter the future of social media and marketing as we know it.

Virtual influencers are a new type of social media influencer that has grown in popularity within the last few years. But what is a virtual influencer? And how do they differ from traditional social media influencers?

The latest trend in the digital world is personification, and it’s making quite a statement. No, we’re not talking about humans dressing up as cute animals or classic characters. We’re talking about virtual influencers – online personalities that are 100% digital. They don’t exist in real life but have gained a huge following online, with some even having their TV commercials and Instagram channels. In an age where people question the authenticity of everything they see online, these digital stars are redefining what it means to have a personal brand and be a public figure.

If you’re a brand, chances are you’re looking for an efficient, cost-effective way to reach new customers. And if you’re like most companies, you want to do it by tapping into the influencer marketing movement that has become very popular in recent years. Virtual influencers are often used to advertise products or services in the same way as human social media influencers, but they have certain advantages:

  • Virtual influencers can endorse products or services 24 hours a day. They also don’t need to be paid, which means brands can save money by using them instead of human influencers. Virtual influencers can communicate with their fans in real-time through social media platforms such as Instagram.
  • Some virtual influencers even have their personalities, which makes them seem more relatable to their fans.
  • Virtual influencers also don’t require managing, since there’s no real person behind them. They can post exactly what you want when you want them to without any negotiation or compromise.

If you’re a regular user of Instagram and Twitter, you may have already come across Lil Miquela – the virtual influencer who has garnered a following of over 1.6 million on Instagram. She’s part model, part entertainer, part activist, and all digital. Lil Miquela isn’t real — but she looks like it. Her social media accounts are awash with selfies and photos that perfectly align with what we would expect from an influencer in 2018: fashion shoots, edgy angles, social commentary on important political issues or her latest music release. She has also worked with brands like Prada, Dior, Calvin Klein and Samsung. Her social media channels are filled with sponsored posts for these brands — alongside her posts about her daily life.

Another famous virtual influencer is Shudu Gram, an Instagram model. Her striking features — dark skin, full lips and piercing eyes — have made her a favourite of the fashion world. But her good looks are not all that set her apart — Shudu is also the first digital supermodel. Shudu was created by British photographer Cameron James Wilson as a personal project to explore the aesthetics of digital art and fashion. His work gained attention when Rihanna posted a photo of Shudu to her personal Instagram account. Shudu has been featured on many fashion and art blogs and also in campaigns for Balmain and Fenty.

Meet Rozy Oh, South Korea’s first virtual influencer. Rozy Oh is one of the best-known and most influential Asian virtual influencers on social media. She was created by the Korean media company Sidus Studio X in 2020 and is South Korea’s first virtual influencer. On Instagram, Rozy Oh posts about her life as a student, her hobbies and her friends.
Virtual Influencers represent a new frontier for brands seeking to connect with consumers authentically. In a world with limited attention spans, these digital identities allow companies to engage customers while retaining control of their brand’s image and message.

The authored article is written by Jay Anthony and shared with Prittle Prattle News exclusively.

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