Instagram superstars like Kylie Jenner are having their social media empire threatened - by computer-animated virtual influencers.
The CGI characters, who are kitted out in digital replicas of real clothes manufactured by some of the world's biggest fashion brands, are becoming a growing online phenomenon.
The influencers are portrayed in real-life settings and are used to advertise new products and lines - earning their creators thousands of pounds with every post.
Their presence is relatively unknown outside the so-called 'Gen Z' cohort of those under the age of 25, but they are growing so rapidly, they are likely to soon be competing with real-life celebrity influencers, industry analysts told the Times.
One of the characters, described as the world's first digital supermodel, is Shudu, whose perfectly symmetrical features have been used to show off fashion items designed by Balmain and Christian Louboutin as well as a Samsung phone.
She boasts more than 200,000 Instagram followers, while Imma, a virtual character that describes herself as being interested in Japanese culture, film and art, has more than 320,000.
Last year, social media users went wild as KFC unveiled a hunky virtual influencer as their new Colonel Sanders.
His Instagram bio states that he is 'chasing the dream' and various posts on the chicken page shows him living the life.
The Kentucky Fried Daddy even has his own girlfriend, who is a computer-generated model named Dagny.
Since then, the number of such characters making a splash online has doubled to 125.