How AI is Taking Over Social Media

How AI is Taking Over Social Media

Welcome to the dawn of a new era in social media where the line between reality and virtuality blurs: giving rise to AI influencers! Let’s discover together the fascinating world where artificial intelligence and personas meet and create the next frontier of social media.

If you ended up here, I take it that you are very much involved with the latest developments in AI and digital marketing. And that’s true, AI is coming for human influencers for social media.

Not much, let’s just go back a little bit to where the idea of AI influencers was born and developed. Big tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Meta are pushing the boundaries of AI powered advertising. They’re encouraging brands to start using the best AI tools for digital marketing and ad creation, promising increased effectiveness, reduced costs, and precise targeting. This technology has led to the emergence of AI-generated virtual influencers, who are being utilized by brands for their affordability and ability to generate consistent content.

A case study by Meta proves the power of AI influencers! H&M has teamed up with Meta, virtual creator Kuki (@kuki_ai) from ICONIQ AI to promote its metaverse-inspired collection. 

The ad campaign for Instagram was launched in different video formats and Kuki was wearing various outfits from H&M. The campaign lasted for 10 days and as a result, H&M saw an 11X increase in ad recall. That’s mind blowing, huh?

Before diving into the exciting world of AI influencers, let’s take a look at what the concept is and how they work.

What is an AI Influencer?

Think of an influencer who never ages, eats, sleeps, or even takes a break – here are AI influencers! They are not average Joe or Jane, they are computer-generated characters designed with sophisticated artificial intelligence technologies to mimic human influencers on social media platforms.

The rise of these virtual influencers isn’t just a vogue. They are becoming a real force for both social media and influencer marketing. Brands are increasingly collaborating with these digital personas, as they find them to be cost-effective in engagement and unlimited in creativity.

There are three types of AI influencers: non-humans, animated humans, and life-like CGI humans. Each one provides an innovative way to connect with audiences.

How Do AI Influencers Work?

AI influencers refer to the intersection of technology and creativity. It’s a combination of 3D modeling, AI algorithms, and creative scripting that brings these virtual entities to life. This duo allows them to post content, engage with users, and even participate in brand collaborations as any human influencer would. The content creation process involves teams of graphic designers, animators, and AI specialists who work together to make sure the influencer’s posts are not only visually appealing but also engaging and interactive.

Examples of AI influencers working with brands illustrate their operational dynamics. For instance, a virtual influencer can be programmed to wear digital versions of fashion brands’ latest collections like Kuki did, tag the brand, and use specific hashtags, just like a human influencer would. The difference lies in the background operations, where every post, comment, or story is the result of careful planning and execution by a team rather than spontaneous human creativity.

Back in 2018, during the Milan autumn/winter fashion week, AI influencer Miquela (a.k.a. Lil Miquela) took over the fashion house Prada’s Instagram and made waves as she attended Prada’s fashion show and posted BTS videos alongside sneak peeks of the collection.

What’s more? In 2019, when Lil Miquela really took the world by storm. She has collaborated with Bella Hadid for Calvin Klein’s campaign. For the first time, a popular model collaborated with an AI influencer. Although the ad campaign caused controversy for being queerbaiting, it was an engagement-driven one for many. Later on, Calvin Klein apologized for Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela ad campaign. 

Here’s the ad:

Calvin Klein collaborated with Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela

Since then, these virtual stars have been shining brighter! More recently, in 2021, Prada has also debuted a computer-generated muse Candy, for their Candy perfume.

Digital Muse Candy for Prada’s Candy Perfume

As the market for AI influencers grows exponentially, it also gives rise to some issues: transparency. Most AI influencers look real human-like, so it might be difficult to distinguish between them to real people at some point. In the advertising world, this might cause some problems. That’s why some social media platforms like TikTok has taken precautions.

Recently, TikTok has updated its content guidelines as follows;

“Synthetic or manipulated media that shows realistic scenes must be clearly disclosed. This can be done through the use of a sticker or caption, such as ‘synthetic’, ‘fake’, ‘not real’, or ‘altered’.”

Anyway, without going off topic too much, let’s take a closer look at the best AI influencers.

The Digital Hall of Fame: Leading AI Influencers to Know

Drum roll, please! Time to roll out the virtual red carpet for the stars of this digital world. Each AI influencer here isn’t just a name but a fame, a blend of art, technology, and personality designed to intrigue, engage, and inspire.

Miquela Sousa (Lil Miquela)


I know, I’ve already mentioned several times but Lil Miquela is the master of this virtual world. She was created in 2016 by Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou as the background of being a Brazilian-American 19-year-old girl. 

A digital sensation with millions of followers, Miquela blurs the lines between virtual and reality by captivating audiences with her collaborations with fashion giants like Calvin Klein and Prada. Her digital footprint is a testament to the magnetic appeal of AI influencers. Her Instagram account has reached millions of followers just in a couple of years.

Aitana Lopez


Aitana is one of my fave AI influencers – her pinky hair shines bright like a diamond! Aitana was created in 2023 by designer Rubén Cruz and his agency called The Clueless. A 25-year-old model carries the title of being the first AI influencer in Spain.

Like real influencers, Aitana shares her fitness journey and love for gaming with her followers. Brands like Olaplex, Brandy Melville Spain, and Intimissimi pay her about $1,000 per post. She is entirely fictional but surprising, isn’t it?

Although she’s not alive, she has a story to tell. That’s one of the points that made her shine through. One of the rumours about her, she receives weekly private messages from celebrities asking her out, the designer Cruz says.

Shudu Gram


I would like to introduce the world’s first digital supermodel to you! Created by the fashion photographer Cameron-James Wilson in April 2017. Wilson says that he was inspired by the South African princess Barbie doll. To the questions about why he designed such a character, he says he sees a lack of diversity in the modelling world.

Shudu’s passion is fashion and with fashion-related posts, her Instagram account racked up 162k users in a very short time. But her real fame came with her post with Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty lipstick. 



Noonoouri’s quirky and cartoonish appearance differentiates her from other virtual influencers like Lil Miquela and Shudu. She proves that even non-human influencers can achieve huge success as they provide a break from reality.

Joerg Zuber, founder of Opium Effect, brought her to life in 2018. IMG, the agency known for launching the careers of Gigi and Bella Hadid, now represents her. As you can imagine, she is closely related to fashion. Noonoouri poses wearing iconic archive pieces from Alexander McQueen, Viktor & Rolf, and Thierry Mugler and posts on her IG.

She is not only born for fashion, but she also advocates for sustainability, ecology, and wildlife protection. However, one of the most popular AI social media influencers recently turned her focus to music. Last August, Noonoouri signed with record label Warner Music and released her first single “Dominoes”.

Noonoouri & Alle Farben



Lightning is originally an iconic character in the Japanese video game Final Fantasy. In 2015, Lightning turned to fashion. Nicolas Ghesquière, who is a gamer himself but also a manga lover, at the same time and artistic director at Louis Vuitton, took inspiration from Lightning’s pinkish hair and angelic face to create a new collection. Isn’t it amazing how generative AI fascinates each industry with its creativity?

Later on, the digital avatar Lightning appeared in the Spring-Summer 2016 collection videos advertising campaign wearing Louis Vuitton clothing and accessories.

Source: Square Portal

Lu of Magalu


Brazil’s own digital darling, Lu, offers more than just style tips; she’s a gateway to understanding how AI can revolutionize retail and beyond.

Magazine Luiza launched Lu in 2003 as a helpful voice for online shoppers. But Lu’s popularity soared and transformed her from a virtual assistant into the company’s heart and soul, even becoming their social media star.

More than just a virtual face, she’s a changemaker! As the first non-athlete personality in Brazil to represent Red Bull, she defies labels. Tackling social issues like women’s violence, she uses her voice for good. Collaborating with global brands like Adidas and McDonald’s, she even became the first virtual star on Vogue Brasil’s cover! Expect her everywhere, from funny memes on Instagram to engaging content on TikTok and beyond.

In a nutshell, AI powered influencers are making waves beyond the metaverse by captivating audiences on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok. These computer-generated characters brought to life with stunning CGI, are building loyal followings. A significant 58% of people say they follow at least one virtual influencer! More than just digital avatars, these characters develop personalities, interact with fans, and even see higher engagement than their real-life matches.

Semantic Evolution in Influencer Marketing

AI influencers are gaining popularity due to their futuristic appeal, cost-effectiveness, and intriguing nature. They’re not just an answer to the skyrocketing rates charged by human influencers but a new chapter in the story of digital marketing. Through strategic collaborations, powered by influencer marketing agencies and the AI marketing services they offer, these digital personas are setting the stage for a future where AI is an integral part of digital marketing strategies.

They’re not just changing the game; they’re creating a whole new playing field, blending the lines between what’s real and what’s digital in ways that are both innovative and intriguing.

So, as we explore this exciting world, let’s embrace the curiosity and wonder that these digital pioneers inspire, for in their virtual hands lies the blueprint of tomorrow’s social media.

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