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Virtual influencers that earn their creators thousands of pounds from a single Instagram post

A recent study has named the virtual and AI influencers that have the potential to earn the most money on Instagram from a single post.

AI and virtual influencers are digital personas created through artificial intelligence or computer software. Like traditional influencers, these virtual figures have also gained immense popularity on platforms like Instagram, leading to significant earnings for their creators.

In this study, intelligent enterprise solutions provider SAP.com delved into the earnings potential of the top 60 ‘human replica’ AI influencers – those designed to resemble humans, as opposed to animal or cartoon-based characters. By analyzing their follower numbers and utilizing an Instagram earnings calculator, the study estimated potential earnings for each sponsored post, shedding light on the financially rewarding realm of virtual influencer marketing.

The results show that Lu do Magalu is the AI influencer with the highest earning potential from a sponsored Instagram post at more than £26,200, around the same as the price of a new 2023 Peugeot 2008.

@magazineluiza, who has been featured on the cover of Vogue Brazil, was created as part of a promotion for iBlogTV by Magazine Luize in 2009 and has posted to Instagram 80 times in the past 30 days, meaning that if monetized, her creators could have made up to £2.09 million in a single month.

Miquela Sousa ranks second among AI infl, with the ability to command £4,200 for each sponsored post on Instagram. Known as @thalasya_ on the platform, she identifies herself as the first Indonesian digital human character.

Having last posted to her main feed 26 months ago, if her creators had maintained a schedule of one sponsored post per month since then, they could have amassed up to £109,200. Remarkably, this sum equates to an average Indonesian worker’s earnings in approximately 20 years.

Leya Love comes in joint fourth and could earn an estimated £4,200 per sponsored Instagram post. A creation of Cosmiq Universe AG, @leyalovenature blends digital modelling with environmental advocacy into her posts. She’s even a co-author in the bestseller ‘Life Values: When Dreams Become True,’ alongside fellow Cosmiq avatar Aya Stellar.

 

Layla’s page has posted seven times in the past month, and had they been sponsored posts, she could have earned around £29,400. To compare, that’s how much the average UK worker makes working full-time for ten months.

 

The ten top-earning virtual influencers:

Rank Influencer Insta Tag Actual followers Earnings per post
1. Lu do Magalu @magazineluiza 6,674,629  £26,200 
2. Miquela Sousa @lilmiquela 2,717,368  £16,400 
3. Alara X @iamxalara 509,238  £4,600 
=4. Thalasya Pov @thalasya_ 461,801  £4,200 
=4. Leya Love @leyalovenature 458,238  £4,200 
6. noonoouri @noonoouri 424,375  £4,000 
7. imma @imma.gram 395,432  £3,800 
=8. Shudu @shudu.gram 241,420  £2,600 
=8. Kyra @kyraonig 238,482  £2,600 
10. Bermuda @bermudaisbae 236,890  £2,500 

Noonoouri is in sixth place and could earn up to £4,000 per sponsored Instagram post. She is recognized for her chic style and advocacy for veganism and sustainability and has luencers with the highest earning potential on Instagram, with it being estimated that she could earn up to £16,400 per sponsored Instagram post. This amount would take the median-paid UK worker around half a year to earn.

@lilmiquela’s creators, Trevor McFedries and Sara DeCou don’t have to rely on sponsored posts to ‘make a living’ because their creation Lil Miquela has been a steady work-horse for their company Brud, with collaborations with a range of brands, such as BMW and Samsung, plus an ad for Calvin Klein which sees the digital influencer share a kiss with Bella Hadid.

Alara X places third and could earn up to £4,600 per sponsored Instagram post. The profile has posted 32 times in the past year. If monetized, Alara X’s creators could have generated up to £147,200 since November 2022, 32% more than the average salary of a principal software engineer working at Microsoft.

IAMX Digital Human created @iamxalara as the first of many human-like digital avatars with the aim of being one of the first companies to bring human-like avatars into the Metaverse via a ‘new era of interactive storytelling through virtual and mixed reality experiences.’ 

Thalasya Pov ranks fourth in earning potentiaattracted more than 424,000 followers to her page @noonoouri.

Noonoouri, created in 2018 as a Metaverse avatar, has already been involved in lucrative endorsement deals with the likes of Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga and was recently signed by Warner Music, with her debut single Dominoes already receiving more than 660,000 Spotify plays.

‘imma’ ranks seventh and garners potential earnings of £3,800 per sponsored Instagram post. @imma.gram‘s 395,000 followers are treated to a blend of contemporary fashion and art, making Imma stand out among digital influencers. She has worked with brands such as Porsche Japan, Ikea, Puma, and many more.

Shudu and Kyra share the eighth position. Shudu, the self-proclaimed ‘world’s first digital supermodel’ at @shudu.gram, has amassed more than 240,000 followers allowing them to charge up to £2,600 per sponsored post, and Kyra, @kyraonig the self-titled ‘first virtual influencer in India’ can use their influence over 237,000 followers to charge up to £2,600, in a country where the yearly salary is around £3,650

Bermuda rounds off the top ten with potential earnings of £2,500 per sponsored Instagram post. @bermudaisbae, created by designer Christian Guernelli, has amassed more than 236,000 followers on Instagram and is known for her edgy and provocative content.

A spokesperson from SAP commenting on the findings:  “The findings of this study reveal the significant influence and earning potential of AI-generated influencers. As these new-age influencers gain followers, they become an increasingly important aspect of social media marketing that brands cannot overlook. Advancements in AI image generation are democratizing the field of influencer marketing. Now, virtually anyone can create a digital avatar, which opens up opportunities for brand collaborations that were once exclusive to traditional celebrities and early social media influencers.”

The full list: