Aimed to attract real life followers, virtual influencers are similar to their real-life counterparts. Both possess the influence to have an effect on people’s purchasing behavior through their presence and recommendations. The social media presence of virtual influencers opens a window of narratives and story-telling, having no boundaries in the creation of stories and engagements that happen in real time.

In contrast to real-life influencers, virtual ones are made up of storytellers, artists, social media experts, and managers with a common goal of working up a virtual person’s account. A well-thought narrative composed of their appearance, lifestyle, actions, and other elements to build up a personal identity are aimed towards an audience to rake in their investment returns.

Lil Miquela

Lil MIquela | Images from Lil Miquela

Perhaps the best known virtual influencer to date, Lil Miquela has 2.8 million followers on her Instagram account, she can be seen drinking coffee or using brands she has partnered with. Miquela can be seen wearing real-life clothes, from brands like Supreme, Calvin Klein, to Chanel.


Imma | Images from Imma

Known for her street style photos, one can easily mistaken Imma for a real life influencer. Known as Japan’s first virtual model, Imma is a digital Instagram model with thousands of followers. Her signature pink bob makes her easily recognizable in the digital sphere.

Liam Nikuro

Liam Nikuro | Images from Liam Nikuro

Japan’s first male influencer, Liam Nikuro is set to work in fashion, music, and entertainment, involving him in the production of contents as a multimedia producer. The Japanese-American virtual influencer lies at the center of producing innovative creative content in marriage with artificial intelligence technology.

Future of Virtual Influencers

Computer-generated social media influencers were projected to have a potential of becoming a $2 billion industry by 2020, these lifelike creations might rival the big-names in the future, given that the creators behind them would be able to continue establishing authentic connections with their brands and supporter.

The marriage of emotional intelligence and artificial intelligence makes it possible for companies and brands to personify what they stand for. Through personalization, non-verbal cues, and relationship-building, understanding human engagements in the digital world, is crucial for brands to establish in order to thrive further in the virtual world.

To know more about the article, ACIIID will be releasing it’s very first trend research book, focusing more on Virtual design – Sustainability, Equality and Community.

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Designer Feature: Nelson de Araujo