Kyra, 21, is India’s first virtual influencer. She has over 99,000 followers on Instagram, was created by business head at Top Social India, Himanshu Goel with brand collaborations in mind and most importantly, she is decidedly not real. However, Kyra faces the same problem that every woman with an account on any social media platform faces: tons of unsolicited flirtatious comments. Many users could also be seen flocking to her Instagram page, which is run by a content creator team (since, you know, she’s not real), wondering if Kyra is indeed a real woman.
Himanshu Goel, Kyra’s creator, is an engineer with an MBA degree from Ahmedabad. Also, he has been responsible for leading the project since its ideation in 2020. Kyra had a soft launch in December 2021. Her official date of birth is January 28, 2022. While speaking about his creation, Goel in a report by Hindustan Times said, “We focussed on it as an entire business. Eventually, Kyra will be independent and unrelated to an agency. Even now, the name of our brand isn’t part of her profile."
He further said that he was really unsure as to how the audience would react. “But the amount of engagement Kyra got was encouraging, even though there were some trolls,” Goel says. The account has been getting 1k new followers a day.
Kyra happens to be a good idea with brands that follow international trends, especially in the fields of technology, lifestyle and fashion. However, the team is being careful about partnerships and is yet to announce any.
The messages and comments about Kyra only go to show that the real world problems persist into the metaverse.
Even as the metaverse takes its fledgling steps into the mainstream, sexual harassment is already a thing within its virtual corridors, including in Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta. That should come as no surprise; the metaverse is, after all, a simulation of reality and just as one cannot evade crime in the cryptocurrency vaults, societal ills were always going to naturally find their way into the metaverse. Sexual assault in the virtual world, moreover, is not new by far and there have been cases reported even as early as 2016.
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