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An estimated 200 computer-generated influencers live out their fictitious lives online, according to reports, which is up from nine in 2015. Experts say you’ll see more virtual influencers pop into your social feeds as user-friendly software goes mainstream and advances in AI take priority in many industries. If your brand is interested in creating or working with computer-generated influencers, here’s what you should know: 

What’s a computer-generated influencer?

Computer-generated influencers, also known as virtual influencers, are digitally made personas. These influencers might look and talk like real humans, but they don’t exist in the flesh. They’re computer-generated, usually pieced together like an avatar and brought to life via AI, code, or algorithms. 

Sometimes, you could mistake a computer-generated influencer for a real person. Take Wunni, for example. She looks real. Other times, virtual influencers take on a more cartoonish look, like Mar.ia, or might take on the shape of a baby or animal, like this bee

Here’s an example of a realistic-looking influencer generated on FormAI, IZEA’s suite of AI tools built for influencer marketing.

A women's self portrait generated by AI tools.

What are the pros of working with a computer-generated influencer?

There are benefits to working with computer-generated or AI influencers that brands should consider. Those advantages include: 

Brands have more control

When you work with a human influencer, it’s common to let the creator lead the content’s direction. While brands guide a content brief, it’s ultimately up to the influencer to create pieces that resonate with his or her audience. 

It’s not the same with computer-generated influencers. You’ll work with the influencer’s creators, but everything can be scripted and controlled, which keeps the brand in charge. 

Campaigns are unique

While the concept grows, virtual influencers are still rare, still unique. As a result, if your brand collaborates with one, the campaign will likely stand out. 

Relationships last longer with virtual influencers

Virtual influencers don’t age, change, or die, which gives brands the chance to collaborate for years to come. A clothing retailer that targets female millennials, for example, could team up with a similar computer-generated influencer and have a brand ambassador for life. 

What are the cons of a computer-generated influencer?

There is some controversy on the topic

Some members of your audience might not like computer-simulated people. Others may have moral or ethical issues with them posing as humans. Opinions are evolving over time.

If you work with a digital influencer, disclose the information to your audience. IZEA research shows 86% of consumers want to know when interacting with generative content.

Relationships with computer-generated influencers are relatively new, so your brand should expect to navigate new problems and have resources available to find solutions. 

Your audience might not connect with a virtual influencer

The strength of influencer marketing stems from an influencer’s ability to connect with an audience and authentically promote a product or service. Can an audience create that same kind of connection with a digitally-made person? Some say no. Without a connection there’s no trust; the ability to influence decisions is limited. 

Examples of computer-generated influencers

What do computer-generated influencers look like? If you’re wondering about this virtual landscape, these examples should help you establish expectations:

Qai Qai

A virtual baby doll known for her dance moves, Qai Qai has 4.5 million followers on TikTok. From skiing with her favorite puppy to dishing on skin care routines, this baby has a lot of say. 

@realqaiqai A girl’s gotta have hobbies 😉🎿⛷️ #pizza #frenchfry ♬ original sound - Qai Qai


Lechat is a virtual K-pop artist from Japan. You can find the big-eyed girl working on dance challenges and offering her 3.2M TikTok followers GRWM videos.

Lil Miquela

With 2.7 million followers on Instagram, Lil Miquela looks remarkably human. She meets with friends, shares pictures of her travels, and showcases her favorite meals, all of which make her life look real.


A virtual girl living in Tokyo, Imma is another computer-generated influencer that’s hard to distinguish from the real world. She has brand collabs and shares lifelike moments with her 398K followers on Insta.


B is, you guessed it, a bee. While he doesn’t take a human form, he’s still computer-generated. His goal is to help save the bee population, but his Instagram is full of travel, like visiting the Eiffel Tower or catching some sun.

Computer-generated influencers give brands a unique marketing opportunity. As these CGI influencers gain popularity, you’ll likely see more brands team up with them. Will your brand be one of them? Use the information above to research the concept before identifying possible partners to contact. 


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Find your next great collab.

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