Humanlike indeed but not quite human still and adhering therefore perhaps most aptly to the identity of themselves as being social media influencers, there has been the genesis of a new breed of digital doyens taking the real world with storm very recently. Dubbed as meta influencers, these new ‘beings’ on the trendsetting horizon embody in all absoluteness their identity in the digital and even more absolutely the newfound notion in further expansion of the unreal world through which they come across as real, catering thus to the Metaverse reference of which one of the most giant of social media platforms Facebook has been so enthusiastically promoting as the essence of itself.
Interestingly as well, corresponding to the long popular existence of social media influencers particularly those setting, promoting and dictating trends through their Instagram profile, meta influencers too can be non human as well, asserting thus more as characters in this whole ambit of themselves not particularly and definitely human anyway.
Coming to be the digital idols that they are has these meta influencers been created by their developers through different modes and techniques of the technological. Brought to ‘life’ in most cases through computer generated imagery or created using animation or though motion capture means as well as emerging from animation methods or out of studio equipment would be these now significant population of the reel- real classification that though isn’t some figment of imagination working out its limits only now.
Virtual influencers or digital idols and icons have long been a ‘reality’, much before even social media tended to be but of course in such scope of them that obviously does not match up to their manifestation in the current times. Even then though, it still isn’t the specific dawn of the Metaverse that can be touted as the ultimate inciting of these virtual influencers to gain real ground through their play upon the reels.’
Introduced at least a good half a decade before Facebook would want to bring in another revolution of sorts through its meta branding are these new age, contemporary and relevant digital influencers who have since taken upon themselves the onus of conducting in as much assertion the business of the world as their more physical counterparts indistinguishable however in the virtual space. It only is the specific exaltation of them in an entire different identity altogether as meta influencers that is what they owe to the Metaverse unfurling across newer dimensions of a future reality, finding their essence in a space that holds the potential to influence every single aspect of the living world not entirely exclusive to the flesh and blood humans of divine creation.
And so meta influencers happen to be the breakthrough beings of the world today, simulated humans (or non humans even) harbouring within their own so much of the physical characteristics in appearance and mannerism of the living that it is hard to alienate them from amongst the living, breathing of us reals in the first glance. And while they might at times come across as ‘different’, in some of their traits that might not be perfectly synced to accurate expressions of the human form and/or nature, these meta influencers have more or less come to be a part of our world. Since when exactly the world have been looking up to these virtual influencers in general and awing at meta versions of them in particular surprisingly isn’t a concern attended to in much certainty. But even then, their timeline is well documented enough to have us identify easily some of the top names in this whole new expanse of wonder that continues to further and expand and sprawl rather rapidly and assertively as well.
The earliest meta influencer and the one also the most famous today, despite her stemming from an age when the Facebook induced Metaverse dream wasn’t talked about yet, happens to be a 2016 ‘born’ forever 19 year old Lil Miquela. A Silicon Valley ‘character’ introduced by Los Angeles based firm Brud, the 1.6 million strong Instagrammer actually named Miquela Sousa is quite detailed in all of her identity though for someone really unreal. With a half Brazilian, half Spanish heritage conceived in expression of her ethnicity, this global pop star therefore obviously pursuing her music dream also rests in the quintessential identity of herself as a fashion enthusiast, as most of Instagram’s legions of influencers inevitably are.
From promoting major fashion brands like Prada to starring alongside Bella Hadid in a Calvin Klein commercial, from gracing the CFDA red carpet to appearing virtually at Coachella, from voicing her support for the Black Lives Matter movement to donating substantial dollars to after school programs, Miquela has been doing everything and more than any real influencer would even in her presence just on the internet. No wonder she has earned recognition as one of Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2018.
Even more importantly though in truly testifying to her envisioning as a ‘real’ identity, it is Lil Miquela’s musical journey that has been made to further as well, what with her songs topping Spotify charts through their earning in millions of views. All in all therefore, there isn’t anything about this robotic devisation in technology that does not appeal through all of the human attributes programmed into her. And thus she resonates, this quirky sounding profile of Lil Miquela as someone not any different than the rest of us, at least as far as our existence in the virtual realm is concerned.
There are many like Miquela, all unique still in their singular identification as influencers of the meta realm who have charted out for themselves such heights of popularity while coursing only through their trail of the virtual that establishes them as real influencers indeed in all reiterations of them. But what also makes them at the same time distinct from the more general understanding of what occurs as the social media kinds is their accentuated ability in traversing the internet for the latest trends and fads and help marketers and/ or developers identify the type of content that they need to be aiming for. As individuals who can think, create and publish content on their own, these new generation of meta influencers tend to be much more than just technologically adept markers of intelligence, harbouring within themselves the power to be as influencing as their counterparts in the virtual realm backed also by the power of real cognisance and the validation of physical existence.
That said though, these meta influencers that we are referring them as, like Lil Miquela most prominently and others no less famous names of Rozy Oh, Shudu and some 150 others wouldn’t exactly be alluding to the ‘meta’ tag since all of them have been doing their bit in influencing trends and followers and the world alike at least considerably some time before the Metaverse stood out predominantly as a ‘concrete’ idea, at least in the vision of it. More ‘ideologically inclined’ to the Metaverse phenomenon as far as her timeline in creation is concerned perhaps would be the latest of the Asian offerings on the block- a 22 year old ‘dream chaser, model and traveller’ and an avid Instagrammer above all of course of the Indian identity.
Christened Kyra by her developer TopSocial Media, specifically by its head of business Himanshu Goel and launched sometime after the epoch making Facebook announcement, the glamorous and fashionable Gen Z influencer though is intended to go beyond her focussed interests as she aspires to be a motivational speaker instead. Having already attended the 2022 Metaverse Fashion Week held in Decentraland alongside big fashion names like Estee Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana, this yoga doing and wanderlusting real creator and photorealistic poser might be indeed the first ever proper Meta Influencer not just of India but of the world courtesy her opportune time of being thrust in the limelight.
With 101k followers already boosting her just a few months old social media- rather meta popularity, Kyra’s envisioning in rather ambitiousness by her creator does not seem to be far fetched at all. Developed as an independent Meta Influencer capable of studying social media trends online and curate content accordingly and autonomously in an alternate universe holding too many exciting a prospects in the near future, for now however it seems like Kyra is enjoying her newfound identity and basking in the glow of her immensely engaging Instagram presence to prep herself up further for a world of whole new revelations to follow. The first ever Meta Influencer Kyra might end up influencing even the others of this kind before her in all yielding of the advantage perhaps of being at the right place at the right time.