Meta(Facebook) Is Working on an ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers

With Meta being the new hype in the industry, we find ourselves watching out for more new dope digital innovations like NFTs and online rooms. The thought of our next step being the on into the virtual worlds gives many goosebumps.

Meta(Facebook) Is Working on an ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers

With Meta being the new hype in the industry, we find ourselves watching out for more new dope digital innovations like NFTs and online rooms. The thought of our next step being the on into the virtual worlds gives many goosebumps.

Similar to watching the latest Matrix. Inherently we as humans have always fallen victim to the FOMO culture, as we see ourselves constantly evolving off of this. Otherwise, you’re considered outdated.

As digital avatars and fully digital characters have evolved into legitimate social media influencers, online platforms now must establish clear markers that define what is real and what is not, as well as how such creations can be used within their apps.

Firstly, let us untangle what are virtual influencers?

Influencers who are virtual or CGI (computer-generated imagery) are computer-generated characters with realistic characteristics, features, and personalities resembling human beings.

The influencer marketing industry is becoming a serious force to be reckoned with, with more and more influencers emerging every week on Instagram and more brands lining up to participate.

Insane isn’t it? Literally, living, “breathing”, virtual people. They live in a virtual world and do things like taking selfies while wearing the latest fashion the same way we do, without them having to physically exist. Giving brand owners a competitive advantage, as businesses wouldn’t need to hire and undergo influencer recruiting.

As much as this is a revolution in the influencer marketing world, more human influencers face the possibility of having to fight for their spot on social media.

The upcoming metaverse shift will further complicate the situation, with the rise of virtual depictions blurring the lines of what will be allowed, in terms of representation. But with many virtual influencers already operating, Meta is now working to establish ethical boundaries on their application.

As explained by Meta:

“From synthesized versions of real people to wholly invented “virtual influencers” (VIs), synthetic media is a rising phenomenon. Meta platforms are home to more than 200 VIs, with 30 verified VI accounts hosted on Instagram. These VIs boast huge follower counts, collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands, fundraising for organizations like the WHO, and champion social causes like Black Lives Matter.”

Despite the potential for harm, Meta is working with developers and experts to establish clearer boundaries on such use – because such representations can also have beneficial uses.

However, there are a lot of filters and editing tools on Instagram these days that change people’s appearance well beyond what’s normal or realistic. While Meta is looking to implement rules on Virtual Influencers, there’s also a case for similar transparency in editing tools applied to posted videos and images. Which makes it nearly impossible to tell what’s real or not.

Virtual influencers are able to flourish in the digital space as they blend right in with the crowd due to the lack of authenticity on social media today. 

Scary but true.

Conclusion

With every innovative idea, comes consequences. Ultimately, the outcome is the possibility of losing real influencers in the game to Virtual Influences that can work 24/7 on demand.