These days everyone with an Instagram account considers themselves an “influencer”. They’ll try to turn you on to a new vacation destination, a secret diet or sell some makeup. Many of them eventually end up becoming shills for some big company. Well if human influencers aren’t annoying enough, now you have virtual influencers entering the fray.
Meet Liam Nikuro. He’s Japan’s first male virtual influencer. Created by Tokyo and Los Angeles based company 1sec Inc, the virtual influencer is a computer-generated head on a real body. Liam’s head and face were made in a 3D animation program and then merged onto the real body using similar techniques to those used in films and video games.
At first glance, Liam looks like a real person. To be honest, we couldn’t really tell the difference except his features seemed a bit too perfect. The virtual influencer will be focused on things like music, fashion, and entertainment. He’ll also be creating his own content with a little help from artificial intelligence. Check out some more images on his Instagram feed.
“Liam may be virtual, but we are aiming to create content that is just as fascinating and cool as what his real counterparts have to offer, and to entertain people all over the planet. We are working on a variety of projects that we intend to bring to the world in the near future,” said Genie, producer of the Liam Nikuro project.
Will Virtual Influencers Ever Catch On?
We know what you’re saying. This will never catch on. Nobody is going to have some 3d render telling them what music to listen to or what clothes to wear. Plus Liam only has about 7500 followers. Your cat most likely has more Instagram game than he does.
But all it takes is one virtual influencer to break through and go viral. After that, every company on the planet is going to want to create one to “properly” represent their brand. An influencer that will say every corporate buzzword, fit the desired demographic and never be involved in a scandal. It’s a marketing team’s dream come true! You might eventually see a world where a computer programmer with some Cinema 4d skills has more social media mojo than your favorite Kardashian.