While the episodes of Black Mirror have us intrigued with the idea of an alternate reality where progressive technology looks back at you in a human form, there is an undeniable movement veering toward virtual reality that is massively expanding code by code.
Termed as the biggest technological development of the decade, the metaverse seems to be catching up in what can only be seen as an inevitable takeover of social media in the real world. While we dig up sources and juggle with the literal definition of this newfound reality, let’s put it in simple terms for the uninitiated.
The metaverse refers to the development of a virtual reality consisting of a cyberinfrastructure that continues to exist even when you log out as well as augmented reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds.
We’re noticing a shift in digital footprints with big brands and the average consumer hopping on to the metaverse bandwagon. Companies like Facebook have undergone drastic ‘Meta’ rebranding envisioning a future where people get their shopping fix from virtual wardrobes or visit international destinations at the click of a button in an alternate reality.
The conception of this idealistic digital economy is already in its initial form. While it might seem like an inoperable fuss or an illusionary joke to some, many are making lakhs by buying selling and creating digital assets like the much hyped NFT’s or art and even luxury assets.
When we think of think of luxury, the fashion domain is an inevitable thought that pops up. Brands like Balenciaga and Gucci are ensuring an influential footprint in the digital domain as well. Not to be mistaken, the influencing ordeal is certainly not limited to brands and corporations, as an emerging niche of ‘meta influencers’ seems to be the latest development creating a buzz. No, we’re not kidding! In a world of digital consumerism, meta influencers are emerging to be all the rage.
Digital avatars that bear an eerie resemblance to your familiar content creators, the meta influencer seems to blur the lines between real and reel. India has finally welcomed its first virtual influencer Kyra, an AI-backed virtual enigma who has amassed an impressive following of 100k on Instagram. ‘Dream chaser, model ad traveler’ reads the digital avatar’s bio, which at first glance seems like a regular influencer’s social media.
Designed to look like the average content influencer on your explore page, Kyra is a creation of Himanshu Goel, the business head at TopSocial India. Goel launched Kyra a few months ago.
“We want Kyra to go beyond just being a simple CGI character or influencer. She is an independent meta influencer on the web. We are working with partners in AI technology which will enable her to study social media trends online and create content autonomously. We believe that is where the future of virtual influencers and content lies.”— Himashu Goel, the business head of TopSocial India.
The stunningly lifelike avatar’s Instagram is no different from your next-door influencer. With sun-kissed portraits, heritage site pictures and casual glam content, she is an intelligently scripted presentation of her creators.
Joining the leagues of virtual influencers like Lil Miquela and Shudu, Kyra is all set to become a top contender representing the Asian influencer metaverse on social media. In less than three months since her conception, Kyra has made her metaverse fashion week debut, which was attended by fashion biggies like Dolce & Gabbana, Estée Lauder and Tommy Hilfiger.
Evoking a mixed bunch of reactions with some mocking the AI influencer or even questioning if she’s real, the hype of the ‘meta-influence’ is certainly more intriguing than its specific technology.
Hate it or love it, the metaverse space is already expanding at an expansive space. While we agree that this marks a paradigm shift in the marketing sector, one cannot help but wonder about the implications of an increasingly digital footprint on the world at large.
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