From virtual influencers to Meta Personas
In an age where we live much of our lives online, it's perhaps inevitable that our favorite influencers will go virtual as well. From AI-powered Instagram models like Lil Miquela to advanced chatbots like Facebook's Meta Personas, the future of digital marketing is clearly evolving.
Lil Miquela: The influencer that doesn't exist
Imagine making $10 million a year posting on Instagram. Lil Miquela does exactly that, but with one twist: it doesn't exist in the real world. Generated entirely by AI by the company Brud, Miquela has partnered with major brands such as Prada and has built a following of 2 million people. Its existence challenges our traditional notions of celebrity and influence, opening up endless possibilities in a world where reality and AI are increasingly confusing.
Facebook and Meta Personas: A New Era of Interaction
The next step in the virtual influencer revolution could come from a behemoth we all know: Facebook, now rebranded as Meta. According to recent reports of the Financial TimesMeta could launch AI-powered personas as early as next month. These chatbots, with distinct personalities, will offer users new ways to interact with the company's services.
The vision of Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, is clear. He mentioned building “AI characters” into the company's products, exploring interactions through text, images and video. With the potential for multimodal experiences, Meta is laying the groundwork for a future where AI will become an integral part of our daily interaction with social media.
The reason? Two main objectives:
- Improving Engagement: Tackling growing competition from TikTok by boosting user interaction on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
- Showing Superiority in AI: With this step, Meta intends to challenge giants such as Microsoft's OpenAI and Google's Bard in the AI domain.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, shared the company's vision for integrating AI into its products, emphasizing the exploration of experiences ranging from text to images, video, and multimodal interactions. In June, evidence of this “Chat with an AI” feature was spotted on Instagram, promising answers and advice based on 30 different AI personalities from the surfer who gives travel advice to the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln.
In addition to the potential for users, the introduction of these chatbots could strengthen Meta's advertising strategy by providing more detailed data on users' interests. However, as the FT pointed out, it's important to note the parallel move by Snap, which has integrated sponsored links into its My AI chatbot.
While we await more details on Meta's AI strategy at the Connect event in September, this innovation is expected to set a new standard in the social media arena.
What awaits us?
If one thing is certain, it's that technology will continue to push the limits of what we consider possible. As the lines between human and virtual influencers blur, businesses and brands will adapt to take advantage of these new opportunities.
However, challenges also emerge. In a world where the "people" we interact with may not be real, how are we going to ensure authenticity and trust? How will we address ethical issues regarding identity and representation? And most importantly, how will we ensure that the evolution of virtual influencers benefits consumers and not just big companies?
The Open To Meraviglia campaign was unexpectedly born with this excellent idea then implemented in the bad way we have seen. Botticelli's Venus would have been an excellent national virtual influencer who knows if in the future we will see some development in this sense ...
However, the future of virtual influencers is here, and it promises to be as exciting as it is complicated. One thing is certain: the era of "Meta Influencers" has just begun, Ferragni and company brace yourself!