TikTok testing virtual influencers for video ads


TikTok is reportedly developing AI-powered virtual influencers that will be able to compete against human creators for lucrative advertising contracts.

The new AI avatars can allegeldy read scripts for video ads created from prompts submitted by brands and TikTok Shop sellers. However, this feature is still in its testing phase so everything is subject to change, reports The Information.

Impact on sales. During testing, TikTok researchers discovered that AI avatars haven’t generated as many e-commerce sales as human influencers. This is reportedly why the new feature hasn’t been made available to marketers yet. The platform suggests that this feature should complement existing human creators rather than replace them.

Concerns. Some advertisers worry that AI influencers could be used for manipulative marketing tactics. Additionally, the rise of virtual creators could steal business from real influencers, possibly leading some users to leave the platform.

Why we care. Even though using AI influencers for promoting products might seem cheaper and quicker for your campaigns, considering the lower sales and ethical concerns involved, it might not be the best choice for brands as things currently stand.

What TikTok is saying. TikTok did not immediately reply to Search Engine Land’s request for comment.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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Nicola AgiusNicola Agius

Nicola Agius was Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covered paid media, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.



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