Virtual influencers are one of the emerging trends in social media.

Virtual influencers, as suggested by its name, are non-human models. They are fictional beings– everything about them is entirely fabricated by artists to represent an idea or a brand.

We’re all very familiar with internet influencers: their presence is practically all over social media, most especially on Instagram. That being said, we have also been witnesses to how one influencer could easily fall into a PR disaster which could then domino-effect its way to ruining the brand they promote. One careless mistake from an internet celebrity could trigger a random internet citizen, who could burn down their career to the ground with just one call-out post.

That is one reason why virtual influencers have been making rounds on social media. Human influencers are very prone to causing troubles, whereas these non-human celebrities could still do the influencing part of the job but with little to no risks of harming what or whom they represent. With a team of artists working behind them, carefully planning their looks, their words, their overall branding, virtual influencers are a lot less unpredictable compared to a real person.

And if you weren’t aware of them, yet, there are actually virtual influencers who have taken social media by storm, garnering hundreds of thousands to millions of followers. Below are the most notable examples:

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Not the VitaminD I was talking about, but it’ll do.

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ok, boomer

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Meet Southeast Asia’s very own, Maya

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Making the best out of my staircase #OOTD shots. Am I doing it right? 🤔

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PUMA, a multinational fashion brand, has breathed life to a virtual ambassador who goes by the name of Maya. Maya represents Southeast Asia for the promotion of PUMA’s Future Rider Sneakers. Also representing PUMA in the region are Tosh Zhang (@toshrock) from Singapore, Adipati Dolken (@adipatidolk) from Indonesia, and Ismail Izzani (@ismailizzani_) from Malaysia– who are real persons, by the way.

With the help of UM Studios and Ensemble Worldwide, they used artificial intelligence technology to form Maya’s physical appearance. The process includes asking selfies from people across the region, collating and rendering their similarities, and turning them into one perfectly Southeast Asian look, which was finally given to Maya.

Branded as “Your average not so average Southeast Asian Virtual Girl✌️,” Maya has over 9,500 followers on her IG account. You may follow her @mayaaa.gram and immerse yourself in her virtual lifestyle.

What do you think about virtual influencers?

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