Exploring virtual influencers’ popularization of non-fungible tokens: The roles of human-likeness and influencer tier congruence

Jiemin Looi*, Lee Ann Kahlor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review

Abstract

This study explores the strategic use of virtual influencers (VIs) to facilitate popularization of an emerging technology, non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are unique digital assets that have been increasingly utilized to monetize VIs’ social media content, thereby functioning as a novel form of fan merchandise. In a 2(human-likeness: human-like vs. non-human) x 2(influencer tier: congruent vs. incongruent) between-subjects factorial experiment, 637 participants encountered an existing VI’s Instagram profile and post conveying NFT endorsements. The findings indicated that VIs of varying human-likeness persuaded laypeople differently: NFT endorsements from non-human VIs directly enhanced acceptance of NFTs. Yet, laypeople perceived greater credibility with human-like VIs, indirectly enhancing acceptance of NFTs. This relationship was also mediated by perceived familiarity and benefit perception. Hence, perceived influencer credibility prevailed over authenticity and served as the distinguishing mechanism between non-human and human-like VIs. Moreover, influencer tier congruence failed to affect perceptions of VIs and acceptance of NFTs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2024
Event74th Annual International Communication Association Conference, ICA 2024 - The Star Gold Coast, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 20 Jun 202424 Jun 2024
https://www.icahdq.org/mpage/ica24
https://www.icahdq.org/mpage/ICA24-program (Conference Program)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/133zTanS54JlShn0-tJviedkI6bEfg69-/view?pli=1 (Conference program)

Conference

Conference74th Annual International Communication Association Conference, ICA 2024
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityGold Coast
Period20/06/2424/06/24
Internet address

User-Defined Keywords

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Human-Machine Communication
  • Anthropomorphism

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