Are You Following These AI Influencers?
Influencers come in all shapes and sizes. From music icons to entrepreneurs and mental health advocates to professional athletes, there have been countless individuals who have used social platforms to make their mark in the world, all the while growing their following, influence, and of course, income.
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But a whole new generation of influencers has disrupted social sharing sites and changed the face of influencer marketing as the world knows it. These are the AI (Artificial Intelligence) or “Virtual” influencers, and they’re here to stay.
AI influencers are digital identities powered by artificial intelligence technology, fully capable of creating content, building relationships with followers, and growing their following no different than any other promoter. This growing trend can be likened to the way robots and virtual assistants have been portrayed in movies and TV shows for years. And now, this technology is officially here, and it’s rapidly evolving.
However, much like any trend, it doesn’t take long for the space to become saturated. And now, there are multiple AI influencers out there, all with their own unique personalities, backgrounds, and content styles. What’s more, is that many of these virtual influencers have something real to say and are gaining huge followings across multiple age groups and demographics.
Bee Influencer (“B”)
As the saying goes, “big things come in small packages.” Enter Bee Influencer, or “B,” onto the scene. Developed by Fondation de France, a leading philanthropy network in France, B is the first virtual bee influencer that was designed to bring awareness to global bee population declines around the world and continues to raise money for the cause. B’s posts on social media platforms are a comedic portrayal of the life of a “Queen B” – daily routines, lifestyle, beauty tips, and travel – all designed to help build relatable connections with the audience. Since 2019, B has nearly 300,000 followers, giving her incredible reach and influence to help move her cause forward.
Shudu is one of the world’s first digital supermodels and AI influencers, created in 2017 by British photographer Cameron-James Wilson. Shudu gained quick attention on social media, some of it controversial, for her representation of a near-perfectly rendered black female figure. The inspiration around her look has been attributed to women like Lupita, Duckie Thot, and Nykhor. Shudu’s look has been so convincing that she was quickly DM’d by photographers requesting to set up a photoshoot with her. Her attention really began to soar after Rihanna shared an image of Shudu on Instagram, leading to it receiving over 222,000 likes and many comments asking who she was. Shudu continues to use her platform to celebrate diversity, promote fashion and beauty brands, and continuously push the boundaries of technology.
Project CodeMiko is a virtual gaming streamer that was created using the Unreal Engine and controlled with a motion capture suit. CokeMiko’s backstory is as a NPC (non-playable character) from a failed video game. CodeMiko has developed a following of over 1 million followers that engage with her on Twitch, Twitter, and Instagram. CodeMiko interviews guests regularly from various different industries, including gaming, technology and esports.
First appearing in April 2016, Miquela Sousa, well-known as “Lil Miquela,” burst into the scene as a rising pop star pursuing her music dreams in Los Angeles. Portrayed as a 19-year-old girl with mixed Brazilian and Spanish heritage, Lil Miquela has become a relatable and highly influential star with a continuously growing fanbase. Over the years, Miquela has collaborated with real brands like Calvin Klein, Samsung, and Prada while also being featured in music videos. Created by a startup in Los Angeles, Miquela has now been interviewed by a variety of popular publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, and Vogue, and has collaborated with musical artists Baauer, Lauv, and Teyana Taylor. Probably one of the most incredible feats is that she – a “virtual” promoter – has been named as one of TIME Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet. This isn’t too hard to believe when you realize she has gained over 3 million followers across all of her social circles.
Named after the beloved baby doll of Serena Williams’ daughter, Olympia, Qai Qai is an AI influencer created by a team of social media experts and content creators, including team members at Serena Ventures – the VC firm founded by Serena Williams. Qai Qai has over 3.3 million followers across all her social platforms, primarily using TikTok to connect with her audience. Qai Qai provides fun and engaging content, with videos showing her daily antics, new dance moves, and of course, impromptu tennis matches. Qai Qai’s popularity has also been attributed to her collaborations with other brands and influencers. She has worked with companies such as Pampers and Nike, as well as other popular social media personalities.
Lu of Magalu
Lu of Magalu was originally created in 2003 as the voice actor behind Magazine Luiza’s e-commerce website. While her original purpose was to be a helpful guide for navigating the website, she quickly became a beloved mascot for the brand. Today, Lu has been positioned as an AI influencer and is one of the biggest on the internet, with over 31 million followers across all her social channels. Lu offers thorough product reviews and helpful software advice on the latest releases, evaluating items ranging from home appliances to clothing. She has also partnered with Adidas and was one of the first Brazilian women to be incorporated into a branding cartoon.
Thalasya is a virtual signer and lifestyle influencer from Jakarta, Indonesia. She has starred in commercials for large chocolate brands and is a popular presence on Instagram and TikTok. Thalasya also has her own music video on YouTube called “Be Happy.” Developed by Magnavem Studio, Thalasya loves to travel, and she often posts pictures and videos of her travels from Bali to Tokyo. She has even managed to create her own clothing store called Yipiiiii. Thalasya has been labeled as one of the most famous virtual influencers and has a collective following of nearly 500,000 followers.
Bermuda is a well-known influencer created by the Los Angeles-based company Brud in 2018. Bermuda now has close to 300,000 followers on Instagram and has her own music available on YouTube. She has teamed up with huge brands like Starbucks, Tesla, Chanel, and Balenciaga and has even been in a romantic relationship with another virtual influencer known as Blawko22. With her flashy colors, eye-catching makeup, and designer jewelry, Bermuda presents herself on Instagram like the typical Insta-baddie. But Bermuda isn’t afraid to stir up some controversy and jump into scandalous situations. She has well-known antagonistic traits that make for a unique persona that keeps her followers engaged and on their toes. Unlike the polished and perfect image we usually see on social media, Bermuda adds a little bit of realness and unpredictability to her profile.
Created by similar design concepts of other virtual influencers created by Brud, Koffi is a newer virtual influencer that has quickly gained recognition as an English fitness model created by an all-digital marketing agency. Koffi spends his time modeling and endorsing fitness products and other luxury goods. Koffi is another step forward in support of diversity and inclusion in the virtual influencer space and has already gained nearly 20,000 followers on Instagram.
AI Influencers Are Disrupting The Future of Marketing and Brand Awareness
Artificial intelligence isn’t a new concept by any means, but its applications continue to become more advanced and more widespread. AI influencers have created a new wave of disruption in the marketing and branding space, enabling brands to reach audiences in more engaging and personal ways than ever before. Rather than relying solely on traditional marketing tactics, AI influencers are leveraging the power of machine learning and natural language processing to create tailored content that speaks directly to their target audience while their life-like personalities continue to draw in an entirely new wave of followers.