How Virtuous are Virtual Influencers? – A Qualitative Analysis of Virtual Actors’ Virtues on Instagram

Date
2023-01-03
Authors
Hofeditz, Lennart
Erle, Lukas
Timm, Lara
Mirbabaie, Milad
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3411
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Recently, virtual influencers (VIs) have become a more frequent alternative to human influencers (HIs). VIs can be described as non-human agents who behave in a human-like pattern. Big enterprises such as Prada, Porsche, Samsung, or Ikea have already collaborated with VIs in the past. Even though it should be clear to users that VIs cannot practice values and virtues in the real world, VIs seem to express certain virtues. This research paper focuses on identifying virtues conveyed by VIs and the effect of expressing virtues on follower engagement by conducting a qualitative content analysis of social media posts. Furthermore, we checked on VIs being abused by companies to convey a more favorable image. Our findings suggest that conveying certain virtues seems to have a positive effect on the engagement. In addition, some VIs were used by companies for virtue signaling without being noticed by their followers.
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Actors, Agents, and Avatars: Visualizing Digital Humans in E-Commerce and Social Media, influencer marketing, social media, virtual influencers, virtues, virtue signalling
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10
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Related To
Proceedings of the 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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