Virtual influencers divide public opinion

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The Future. Virtual influencers — digital personas that sell products like human influencers — are growing more popular as the technology develops, and the influencer economy grows. If virtual influencers catch on, they’ll probably take a major chunk of revenue away from their human counterparts.

Less than human 
Digital influencers have advantages — and drawbacks — that humans lack.

  • Digital influencers are cheaper, requiring no wages or human expenses. In some cases, substituting one for a popular human influencer could reduce the cost of promotional material by 98%.
  • They also have flexible schedules, can do anything required of them (like dangerous stunts), and have reputations completely under brands’ control.
  • On the other hand, digital influencers lack emotion and can’t handle complex emotional ads as well as humans can. They also have high upfront costs.

Death of the salesmen
Regardless of their downsides, virtual influencers will likely outcompete human influencers over time (barring regulation) because they have a different cost structure.

While established human influencers fetch higher sums as they grow more famous over time, virtual ones should get cheaper as more of their content is made and can be reused as training data.

So much for moving up in the world.

Luke Perrotta


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