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TikTok is testing AI generated influencers for advertising.

TikTok, while claiming it’s obsessed with creators, is eyeing an interesting new play – AI-generated influencers. Think people who don’t exist, but advertisers can customize for promoting products.

What’s going on here?

TikTok wants to make it easier for brands to advertise on their platform, and AI tools might be the key to boosting those ad dollars.

What does this mean?

Companies like TikTok are betting big on AI to drive revenue. After all, convincing advertisers to spend more is good for the bottom line. TikTok already offers some basic AI tools for ad creation, but this new feature would be a big step. It would not just help with scripting and posting like other tools do, this one will create a virtual influencer, just for your ad.

It's still early days. Testing has shown that AI influencers don't (yet) generate the same buzz as their human counterparts. TikTok is aware of this, so expect these avatars to get polished before release.

Why should I care?

This could be a game-changer for advertising. Imagine AI influencers who can tailor their pitch for different demographics or even speak multiple languages – that's untapped potential with global appeal.

A crucial point to think about is why influencer ads work. Is it because there’s a human-like face on the screen or is it that you’ve built a parasocial relationship with the influencer already? I like to think that it’s the second.

Much likely, this will not replace influencer ads, but it’ll upgrade those boring slideshow ads. One thing’s for sure, we'll definitely see the line between real and virtual blur even further.

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