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The Rise of AI Influencers: TikTok and Instagram

Chloe McWhinnie

Chloe McWhinnie

21 June 2024

The Rise of AI Influencers: TikTok and Instagram - Voquent

Instagram and TikTok are working on generating AI influencers… no this isn’t a sci-fi movie.

AI influencers are no longer a concept from science fiction – they’re a growing reality on most social media platforms.

Instagram currently has AI influencers in the works, working on creating bot-versions of your favourite influencers that are indistinguishable from the real thing. The idea is to allow influencers to interact with their fans without spending as much time online.

TikTok is following suit, developing lifelike AI characters capable of speaking over 20 languages to help brands and creators reach global audiences.

It’s clear the online world is shifting significantly, but is it for the best?

 

Instagram AI Influencers

Meta, parent company of Instagram, is actively developing an AI bot platform aimed at allowing influencers to create AI versions of themselves.

This initiative, known as Creator AI, is designed to help influencers manage their interactions with followers more efficiently.

The AI influencers will be trained using the influencers existing content – including posts, direct messages, and audio from Reels and Stories – to accurately mimic their voice and style.

Meta has assured that the technology used to do this is purely for enhancing user engagement by providing more frequent and personalised interactions without needing additional effort from the influencers themselves.

The social media giant’s investment in AI influencers aligns with its broader strategy to use artificial intelligence to boost user experience on its platforms – we all know how big a fan Zuckerberg is of the technology.

By integrating AI further into Instagram, Meta looks to differentiate itself in the social media world and provide influencers with appealing tools to maintain and grow their audience.

 

TikTok AI Influencers

Popular video platform TikTok is following in Instagram’s footsteps, as they take a significant step towards integrating AI technology with AI-powered virtual influencers.

The platform is currently working on an AI tool that allows brands to generate AI influencers and create scripted content from a simple prompt.

The tool is designed to enhance the promotional capabilities of TikTok shop merchants, offering a new and improved way of product promotion. TikTok has emphasised that it is an additive, as opposed to replacing human creators.

TikTok’s AI influencers will be able to communicate in over 20 languages to reach broader audiences while fostering connections and loyalty with viewers – Blade Runner vibes anyone?

 

Should we be concerned?

While the social media platforms promoting their new AI developments will preach the benefits of their work, what are the concerns around AI influencers?

Authenticity and Trust

One of the primary concerns around AI influencers is the authenticity of interactions.

Followers often build relationships with influencers based on perceived authenticity and personal connection, so when you put an AI wall in between them, what happens?

If AI influencers replace their human counterparts’ genuine interactions, the sense of trust and relatability from their audience disappears. Followers may feel deceived and undervalued.

The lack of authenticity and trust is likely to lead to a broader mistrust of social media interactions with influencers.

Privacy and Data Security

Creating AI influencers requires extensive data collection to accurately replicate a creator’s voice, style, and behaviours.

This raises significant privacy concerns as sensitive information can be misused or inadequately protected – leading to data breaches, which Meta are no stranger to.

Licencing and Sublicensing

Although Instagram does not claim ownership of the content you post, their terms and conditions do state they have the right to ‘non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide licence to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate and create derivative works of your content’.

While this currently only refers to photos and videos, it may also be the case with the AI version of you upon release. If so, this will give Instagram the right to sublicense the AI version of you to other companies and also use it in their own promotional material.

Manipulation and Misuse

We’ve all seen the ChatGPT memes poking fun at the software by making it say unhinged things. So, what’s to stop audiences from doing the same to AI influencers?

AI influencers are at risk of being exploited to make incriminating statements or unknowingly endorse products that the real influencer would not.

This poses ethical risks and can damage a creator’s reputation as their AI counterpart spreads misinformation or controversial opinions.

Economic Impact on Human Influencers

The rise of AI influencers poses a threat to human influencers.

Brands may prefer the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the robot creators, leading to reduced opportunities for real content creators.

This shift in content creation is likely to see a drop in quality of content, as AI-generated interactions can lack the creativity and personal touch that human influencers often bring.

 

What does the future look like?

As AI technology continues to advance, AI influencers are likely to become even more sophisticated – interacting with audiences in a lifelike and nuanced way.

This progression has the capability to further blur the lines between human and machine, raising ethical concerns about the role of AI in our lives.

While the potential for more engaging and personalised content is exciting, it is important platforms consider the implications.

 

Conclusion

The integration of AI influencers into social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok is a turning point for how we interact online.

However, it must be used and balanced responsibly – correct respect for privacy and authenticity is crucial.

At Voquent, we’re focused on real human voices behind your content.

 

Cast Human Voice Actors for Your Project

Chloe McWhinnie

By Chloe McWhinnie

Chloe is Voquent's marketing connoisseur. She has a passion for anime, gaming, all things automotive, and writing. She's the one usually replying to you on our socials!

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