Are there no downsides to virtual influencers? One could argue it is difficult to feel the same connection to something that is not real. Our need for human connection is hard to replace, and this will probably not happen until we reach a point where you can’t tell the difference between digital and physical reality. Then again, many popular movies where the audience connects to the characters are animated. It’s most definitely possible to connect to a non-physical character, but to what extent?
To look at virtual celebrities as something that could replace human influencers or celebrities is probably approaching it with the wrong mindset. Virtual celebrity is a niche on its own. It will likely continue to be its own form of entertainment, branding, and advertising.
The development of virtual celebrities is an exciting field to follow and is still in its cradle. As all media become more connected, the traditional borders between different media forms will vanish. This development opens up exciting opportunities to integrate virtual celebrities in creative ways.