Are you intrigued by what the future holds?
Well, it's already here: AI-generated influencers on Instagram.
That’s right, people are now creating digital personalities with artificial intelligence that look and act like real people online.
Many of these AI stars have thousands of followers (some in the millions!) and devotees across the social media platform, and their posts often generate a ton of likes, too!
Let’s take a closer look at ten examples of AI influencers on Instagram to see just how influential they can be in this modern age.
What is an AI influencer?
Before we begin with the article, let's quickly go over what an AI influencer exactly is.
An AI influencer is a virtual or computer-generated influencer who uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create and manage their social media presence.
Basically, it can happen that you see AI-generated pictures of a woman but that all the images are being generated by a man.
So an awkward introvert nerd can create and control multiple extrovert puppet AI influencers, thus becoming a SuperInfluencer himself.@ironborn123
AI influencers can be used to promote products, services, or brands, and they can also be used to educate and entertain audiences.
Here's one example of WHO hiring Knox Frost (a now offline AI-generated influencer) to raise money:
The list of the top 10 AI influencers on Instagram
Ready to see what's currently possible with AI?
Below you will find the best AI influencer Instagram accounts that you can start following today.
And yes, in the end, we will go over the benefits and downsides for brands to start using AI influencers for their marketing campaigns.
1. Lil Miquela
Let's start this list with one of the most famous virtual influencers; Miquela Sousa, popularly known as Lil Miquela, and is 19 years old.
Influencer Lil Miquela has collaborated with renowned brands such as Chanel, Prada, and Samsung, and even modeled alongside Bella Hadid for Calvin Klein.
Additionally, she earned recognition as one of Time Magazine's top 25 most influential individuals on the internet.
She's projected to make over $10 million this year!
Want to see the IG account from Lil Miquela? Click here to do so.
Who created Lil Miquela?
Lil Miquela is the project of Brud, founded by Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou.
The project that brud seems to be pursuing — turning celebrity into a virtual commodity; commenting on the unreality of the “real” entertainment industry by literally creating an unreal celebrity — is fascinating.Source (in 2018)
Brud was acquired by Dapper Labs in 2021. (Source)
2. Lu do Magula
Lu do Magalu is a 3D character who is represented as a young woman with long brown hair and blue eyes. She's fully focused on Brazil.
Lu has used her growing social media accounts to feature unboxing videos, product reviews, and software tips.
Also, she's the most followed virtual influencer in the world!
Want to see the IG account from Lu do Magalu? Click here to do so.
Who created Lu do Magula?
Lu do Magula was created by one of Brazil's biggest retail companies called Magazine Luiza.
Next up is the first virtual human and model in Japan called Imma.
She has collaborated with brands like Magnum — for example, with the launch of its new flavor, Magnum Matcha.
She's also been selected as ‘New 100 Talent To Watch' by Japan Economics Entertainment and appears in numerous headlines from fashion to business magazines, TV, and online.
Want to see the IG account from Imma? Click here to do so.
Who created Imma?
Imma was created by Aww Inc., Japan’s first virtual human company. They believe that virtual humans can change the world.
Also, they want her to be more than just a virtual influencer; they want her to have a real, normal life that her audience can follow.
Here's how they created Imma:
Aww produced virtual humans are all created by using their underlying data known as the Master Model, which the company continues to invest in.Source
Using the Master Model, when one virtual human undergoes any technological evolutions, all of the other virtual humans will be updated accordingly instantaneously. This technology allows for us to achieve many complex updates in a short span of time.
4. Milla Sofia
Next up is an AI-generated influencer that went viral in July 2023 after an article in Futurism.
Thanks to the advent of AI-powered image generators like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, some are now fabricating entire feeds of internet personalities that don't actually exist.Source
She's called Milla Sofia, is 24 years old, and is from Helsinki.
Her ‘journey' has just started, but she's already collaborating with a Finish online store called Tyyliluuri.fi.
And yes, you will find a lot of comments on her posts from men who want to date her — even though she's AI-generated.
Want to see the IG account from Milla Sofia? Click here to do so.
Who created Milla Sofia?
It's currently unknown who created Milla Sofia, but according to their YouTube channel, the images are generated with Stable Diffusion.
Here's one more newer AI-generated influencer called Natalia Novak. (The Instagram account was created in April 2023)
As you can see on her profile, the results, unlike the CGI-rendered virtual influencers of the past, can be strikingly photorealistic.
Of course, there are still some things to tell if a person is AI-generated; the dramatic lighting, the hands, the weird smooth skin, and the backgrounds.
And yes, there are a lot more influencers like Natalia coming. For example, here's Polly Mers.
Want to see the IG account from Natalia Novak? Click here to do so.
Who created Natalia Novak?
Futurism talked with the creator of Natalia, a 20-something software systems engineer named Pierre.
I usually just call myself her manager,” he told us. “The reason for this is of course that I'm playing a character and people don't want to know so directly who's behind it, even if they could piece it together if they want to. Does that make sense?
Let's continue this list with South Korea's first virtual influencer called Rozy.
Rozy is a successful example of how virtual influencers can be used to promote brands and raise awareness of social issues.
Want to see the IG account from Rozy? Click here to do so.
Who created Rozy?
The creator is Sidus Studio X. You can learn a bit more here!
Let's continue with something different; a bee influencer!
B is the first influencing bee with a goal to please brands around the world to raise money to save the bees, many of which disappear every year.
Want to see the IG account from Bee Influencer? Click here to do so.
Who created B?
B was created by the French philanthropic network Fondation de France.
Next up is Plusticboy, a virtual male model representing Asia produced by Aww Inc. He is also the brother of Imma. (Which we covered above)
He has appeared on the cover of the ‘Uniform magazine', an international newspaper and media outlet in China, modeled in the SLY × PUMA collection campaign, and has been featured on Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo 2020’s key visual. (Source)
Want to see the IG account from Plusticboy? Click here to do so.
Who created Plusticboy?
Plusticboy was created by the same creators as Imma, Aww Inc., Japan’s first virtual human company.
Rae is one of Asia’s latest hyper-realistic virtual personalities and Singapore’s top virtual influencer.
The virtual influencer, who was launched in October 2020, has more than 24,000 followers on Instagram.
Want to see the IG account from Rae? Click here to do so.
Who created Rae?
Rae was created by CapitaLand.
She was digitally created by computer-generated imagery (CGI) technology and powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
10. Liam Nikuro
Let's finish this list with Liam, Japan's first male virtual influencer.
The company behind Liam even partnered with the Wizards. They will work together to welcome the virtual influencer Liam as a guest and aim to expand the fan base through digital media and sponsorships.
Want to see the IG account from Liam Nikuro? Click here to do so.
Who created Liam Nikuro?
Liam Nikuro was created by 1sec Inc, a virtual reality company that specializes in the development of AI and 3D virtual human technology.
What are the benefits for brands to use AI influencers?
First of all, according to Territory Influence, the virtual influencer market is currently valued at $4.6 billion and is projected to increase by 26% by 2025.
There are several benefits for brands to use AI influencers over ‘normal' influencers, including:
- Cost-effectiveness. AI influencers are typically much less expensive to use than human influencers.
- Consistent messaging. AI influencers can be programmed to deliver consistent messaging across all of their social media channels, which can help to reinforce a brand's identity and values.
- High degree of control. Brands can have a high degree of control over the content and messaging of AI influencer campaigns, which can help to ensure that they are aligned with the brand's goals.
- Ability to reach a global audience. AI influencers can be used to reach a global audience, regardless of their location.
What are the downsides for brands to use AI influencers?
There are also some challenges associated with using AI influencers, including:
- Lack of authenticity. Some people may view AI influencers as being less authentic than human influencers.
- Technical issues. AI influencers can be susceptible to technical issues, such as glitches or outages.
- Regulation. The use of AI influencers is still relatively new, and there is no clear regulatory framework governing their use.
And, of course, backlash can still come after utilizing AI for your business.
For example, Levi received a lot of backlash after announcing it would begin using artificial intelligence to generate models of more diverse body types and skin tones to increase the representation of its product models.
And yes, there was also backlash for the Calvin Klein campaign with Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela.
FAQs about AI influencers on Instagram
Before we close off this article, let’s quickly go over a few key questions that people have when they start researching AI-generated influencers.
Who knows, maybe this will answer one of the questions you had as well!
What is the future of AI influencers?
The future of AI influencers is still uncertain. However, there are a few trends that suggest that AI influencers will become more popular in the years to come.
For example, as AI technology continues to improve, AI influencers will become more realistic and lifelike.
And the growing popularity of VR and AR will make it possible for AI influencers to interact with users in more immersive and engaging ways.
Can AI-generated influencers become a problem?
Yes, there's a serious downside to the AI-generated influencers trend; it could damage kids' mental health.
The growth of these perfect AI influencers could negatively impact the mental health of younger users. Exposure to such idealized representations of life and beauty may lead to distorted self-perceptions.
As you can see, artificial intelligence has come a long way in 2023.
If that wasn't enough for you, and want to dive deeper into the world of virtual humans, then don't forget to check out the Virtual Humans site here for more inspiration!
And if you want to learn how to spot AI influencers ‘in the wild', check out our other article here.
Also, for the best AI art Instagram accounts to follow, check out this list here!
So, what do you think is going to happen in the upcoming years? Will influencers be replaced by AI versions?
Let us know in the comments below!
Want to see more examples?
Ready to see more AI-generated examples? Check out our other articles below: