July 25, 2018

Lil Miquela

Miquela Sousa or @lilmiquela has 1.3 million followers on Instagram, 25 thousand monthly listeners on Spotify, cover stories in Highsnobiety and Wonderland Magazine, and collaborations with Prada, Supreme, Diesel, and Moncler.

She identifies as a 19-year-old robot, but she’s as real as any social media influencer.


In Wired, influencer marketing agency cofounder Adam Rivietz argued,

“Virtual influencers aren’t trying on a clothing brand. They can’t tell you, ‘This shirt is softer than another, and that’s one of the reasons you should buy it.’ They’re not real people, so they can’t give a totally authentic endorsement.”


Because the gummy bear hair vitamins in @kyliejenner’s sponsored posts are responsible for her totally authentic appearance. Never mind her team of professional makeup artists, hairdressers, stylists, photographers, and digital retouchers.

Every day, people become more like bots, and bots become more like people. Either influencers are as virtual as @lilmiquela, or she’s just as real as other influencers. At least @lilmiquela is upfront about crafting and curating her digital presence.

2018 Brian Rose