Naina is India’s latest sensation, rising to stardom with more than 134k followers on Instagram and dazzling her followers with her glamorous content. Now, there’s only one question on everyone’s minds:

Who is she?

Naina, India’s first virtual superstar, is a digitally crafted persona created in 2022 by AVTR META LABS, India’s first ever content-driven Meta influencer company. She regularly posts about her life as a fashion model, mesmerizing fans with posts about her fashion shoots, travels and brand collaborations.

Naina’s electrifying introduction on social media prompted a flood of discussions on whether she is human or an illusion. However, this was quickly resolved with the realization that she was a virtual avatar, evidenced by her repetitive outfits and occasionally jerky, inconsistent movements. Even more specifically, she is a “virtual superstar”: a digital celebrity created using advanced technology and catering to younger audiences.

Regardless of her virtual identity, Naina was given a uniquely human backstory by her creators. She is 21-years old, has roots in Mumbai, and aspires to become an actor. She said: “Like many girls of my age group, I have come to Mumbai to fulfill my dreams of becoming a successful actor. I invite you all to follow my on Instagram and YouTube, become a part of my life journey and share my experiences. I have just come to Mumbai and I will need all the help I can and I am counting on you all.

Naina’s popularity is sky-high. This June, when she arrived at the Mumbai airport, she posed for pictures for the enthusiastic paparazzi and even greeted one of her fans with a selfie. “Instant Bollywood” has shared the video on Instagram:

 

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A post shared by Instant Bollywood (@instantbollywood)

Naina also made a vibrant post on Barbieheimer, refusing to miss out on the fun and chaos of the moment:

Through Naina and other potential digital avatars, AVTR META LABS aims to carve out a unique space in content. By catering to the preferences of Gen Z and other younger social media users, digital avatars like Naina offer their followers personalization and availability, and offer their creators increasingly innovative ways to promote brands and engage their fans.

However, the creation of Naina has also sparked discussions and controversy on the power of virtual intelligence and the increasingly blurred line between reality and virtuality. While this may be fascinating for some, it has also prompted understandable ethnical arguments regarding the ability of these kinds of technologies to manipulate people and create a disconnect from reality and life. This was aided by Naina’s creators’ reluctance to openly discuss her full technology, which discomfited some fans.