Robot influencers are becoming big business on Instagram, with Coca-Cola and Louis Vuitton using video game characters in their ads. New research looks at the most popular virtual Instagrammers and how much they could be earning.
A robot influencer is a piece of artificial intelligence that acts as a virtual avatar created via 3D animation software.
Like most AI, they have the ability to learn from their interactions which contributes to the ongoing development of their existence and are still controlled and managed by their developers.
The rise of virtual influencers on Instagram has led OnBuy, with the help of Influencer Marketing Hub’s Sponsored Post Calculator, to investigate who is making the biggest waves and just how much they are earning.
Claiming first place is the famous Lil Miquela (a.k.a. Miquela). 2.5million followers and a new music video proves her social influence, and she’s predicted to earn a staggering £8,960,649.43 before year is out. That’s 252 times more than the UK’s average annual salary.
The avatar recently appeared in a Calvin Klein commercial alongside real life influencer Bella Hadid.
The second biggest robot influencer on the scene is noonoouri. Her image is more cartoony than Miquela, but her reach is no less realistic! Lobbying for issues such as the environment, equality and animal cruelty, she could earn a staggering £2,273,555.65 this year.
Japanese virtual girl imma jumps into third place. Providing a glimpse into Japanese art, culture and film, her kawaii posts reach 237,000 users and earn her £498,303.44 a year.
Miquela’s fictional rival on the Instagram scene is Bermuda, who claims fourth. It appears the marketing stunt that created this rivalry was a success, as she’s predicted to earn £440,182.48 this year alone!
Fifth, sixth and seventh place go to Bermuda’s on-off boyfriend Blawko who will rack up £159,326.38, Shudu who’s predicted to achieve £96,108.14 before 2021, and Ami Yamato who’ll earn £53,400.86.
Shudu recently appeared in a Tiffany & Co ad campaign.
To make the top ten, other entries include:
• RIA (@ria_ria_tokyo) – £34,895.75 yearly earnings
• Plustic boy (@plusticboy) – £34,405.85 yearly earnings
• Lil Wavi (@lil_wavi) – £31,125.46 yearly earnings
Not all virtual influencers make waves as big as the top ten. In 20th place is Mabô, whose character is well-designed and interesting, but the small number of followers and posts means she will only earn £17.36.
She is followed by Africa’s first virtual influencer Aba Wils in 19th place, who is still yet to find fame – she will earn just £223.71.
Robot influencers are still a relatively new concept, however, so it may be interesting to see how those further down the table will fare in a couple of years.