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‘Virtual Influencers’ Could Earn Millions in 2022

Today in news that will depress you, models that don’t exist have the potential to earn more this year than you’ll see in your entire life, according to data from OnBuy Tablets.

By Chandra Steele

Everyone loves to hate influencers. They’re out there creating content that’s #goals while making you feel bad about your own life. Of course, as we know, nothing is real on Instagram (except the money you can make from it), and as it turns out, some of the influencers with the highest earning potential don’t actually exist.

Virtual influencers are living it up online and making plenty of money while doing so. These creations are just some fancy computer graphics merged with a vibe. Their creators give them a social media presence and then watch the cash roll in without ever having to worry about their own angles or how to secure a seat on a private jet for a photo shoot. And brands love an unproblematic spokesperson who isn’t going to age, which is how virtual creations such as Lil Miquela have made major money from sharing sponcon with their millions of followers.

OnBuy Tablets decided to estimate how much these unreal influencers could make in 2022 if all their posts were sponsored, using data from Influencer Marketing Hub’s Sponsored Post Calculator. Topping the charts is Brazil’s Lu do Magalu, who is currently sharing the February cover of Vogue Brasil with two real models. While she’s not well known outside her home country, her notoriety there is widespread enough to potentially expand her bank account by more than $17 million in 2022.

At №2, Lil Miquela has secured deals with Prada and embarked on a singing career, even though she was dreamed up by virtual-human-creator Brud. And that could easily translate into nearly a million dollars in 2022.

One influencer who needs no introduction is Barbie. The doll herself has an Instagram presence that puts others to shame. Who else can show off custom Balmain, pull up to the LA Auto Show in a convertible named after them, and has a mansion with the best views in Malibu? If Mattel needs some extra cash, Barbie could easily take in $978,709 this year, OnBuy says.

But these top three influencers should watch their backs. They might not get older, but that doesn’t mean a new girl isn’t always around the corner. Rozy hit the scene in South Korea in mid-2020 and almost immediately garnered over 100 sponsorships. Watch your back, Barbie.

Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.

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