2016 was a pivotal year for the virtual reality industry, with almost 100 million VR units shipped worldwide. We analysed the conversation back then in this blog post, and we wanted to revisit the topic to uncover the top influencers, brands and publications driving the online conversations in 2017.

Virtual reality technology holds enormous potential to change the future for a number of fields; from medicine, business and the military, to architecture and manufacturing. As the technology becomes cheaper and more widespread, we can expect to see many more innovative uses for VR in the future. It has the potential to fundamentally change the way in which we communicate and work. The VR industry is experiencing explosive growth with the worldwide market for headsets growing by 25.5% year over year in the second quarter of 2017 according to the IDC. VR headsets account for 98% of the market.


HOT TOPICS IN VIRTUAL REALITY

We analyzed over 5.4M social media posts and blog content from January 2017 to see which associated topics and sub-categories received the most attention in conjunction with the virtual reality online discussion. Here is the word cloud showing the most frequently used keywords:

Onalytica - VR Word Cloud

The most frequently mentioned words spoken about in the context of virtual reality were:

1. AR 11. Daydream
2. Oculus 12. IoT
3. AI 13. Mixed Reality
4. Hands-On 14. CES2017
5. HTC Vive 15. GDC17
6. 360-degree 16. Rift
7. Playstation 17. Experience
8. Motion 18. Arkit
9. VRWC17 19. 3D
10. AWE2017 20. IndieDev

 


MAPPING THE COMMUNITY

Below is a network map showing recent interactions with the number one influencer Rick King. This map was created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click here to get in touch!

Onalytica Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers, Brands and Publications Network Map Rick King

Below you can see another network map created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM) showing the number 1 brand Oculus at the centre, and all the virtual reality conversations to and from the influencers in their field. Be sure to click on the map to see it in more detail:

Onalytica Virtual Reality Top 100 Influencers, Brands and Publications Network Map Oculus


BRAND AWARENESS AMONG INFLUENCERS

So which brands were driving the most attention among the influencer community? We counted the number of brand mentions by the key virtual reality influencers to create the brand share of voice pie chart below. This tells us which out of the top brands have the biggest share of voice among the top influencers discussing virtual reality between 1st January – 30th September 2017.

Onalytica Virtual Reality Brand Share of Voice

The most popular brand mentioned by the top virtual reality influencers was Oculus with a 30% share of voice, illustrating the fact that Oculus is a dominant force in the virtual reality market, with a growing library of existing games and cinematic experiences on top of the financial and technical support of its owner, Facebook. HTC was the 2nd most popular brand mentioned by the top virtual reality influencers with a 22% share of voice. Thanks to a $1.1 billion deal with Google to acquire the majority of HTC’s phone design and engineering team means HTC can now focus more on its Vive VR headsets and reduce its development costs, making it a serious competitor.

Samsung received the 3rd highest number of mentions with a 13% share of voice. Samsung’s Gear VR is the most popular mobile VR headset on the market in terms of sales. The Gear VR device is a lot more affordable when compared to its rivals, with the exception of the Daydream View that costs around the same. Also part of the reason for their popularity is a lot of consumers who purchased the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, received the Gear VR for free. PlayStation received the 4th highest number of mentions with a 12% share of voice. Although it is behind Samsung in global headset sales, it had sold a total of 519,400 units of its VR Headset before the second quarter of 2017, capturing 24.4% of the total market share, according to IDC.

Google was the 5th most popular brand mentioned by the top virtual reality influencers with an 11% share of voice. Google’s new Daydream VR platform is already making big waves in the tech industry. They are working with partners like Qualcomm, HTC and Lenovo to develop Daydream headsets that are completely free of phones, PCs and wires. They also offer VR experiences for web browsing and listening to music. Microsoft were the 6th most popular brand mentioned by the VR influencers with a 5% share of voice. Microsoft has been making a lot of low key noise about VR, AR, and mixed reality recently, and has just announced they’re acquiring AltspaceVR with the aim of  “building the world’s preeminent mixed reality community”.

Intel received 3% of all brand mentions among the top VR influencers. Intel’s new system called ‘Portal Ridge’wants to overcome the disadvantages of streaming VR content from a powerful PC to a mobile phone acting as a headset. The system makes use of existing hardware from HTC to combine the benefits of a gaming PC and your mobile. Ubisoft, who build their VR games to leverage multiplayer experiences in order to enhance the social aspect of VR, also received 3% share of voice. The powerful graphics cards built by

NVIDIA ensure that they are in the top 10 VR brands with a 1.6% share of voice. They were followed lastly by Zeiss with 0.4% of all brand mentions. Zeiss develop diverse optics and optoelectronics technologies, and they recently announced the launch of the VR One Connect headset.


TOP 100 INFLUENCERS

We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top influencers in virtual reality. Below is the top 50, if you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the full report by clicking the download button below.

Rank Twitter Handle Name Company Influencer Score
1 @RickKing16 Rick King Consultant 100
2 @kentbye Kent Bye VoicesOfVR The Voices of VR 66.13
3 @John_Westra John Westra Vuturus 64.35
4 @markgurman Mark Gurman Bloomberg 62.13
5 @tipatat tipatat The Venture Reality Fund 58.51
6 @lucasmtny Lucas Matney Tech Crunch 56.41
7 @mcuban Mark Cuban The Dallas Mavericks 54.66
8 @thedextriarchy Adi Robertson The Verge 54.16
9 @hmltn Ian Hamilton Upload 48.53
10 @Hero_Kvatch Jamie Feltham Upload 47.64
11 @downtohoerth Eva Hoerth Tech Researcher 45.1
12 @vr_sam Sam Watts make [REAL] 43.24
13 @deantak Dean Takahashi VentureBeat 42.18
14 @chetfaliszek Chet Faliszek Bossa Studios 41.96
15 @Scobleizer Robert Scoble: VR/AR Transformation Group.io 41.53
16 @Sanemavcil Sanem Avcil #Arkit Arkit 40.34
17 @Jason_Rubin Jason Rubin Oculus 38.69
18 @karissabe Karissa Bell Mashable 38.33
19 @evanderburg Eric Vanderburg TCDI 38.2
20 @claybavor Clay Bavor Google 38.09
21 @tomwarren Tom Warren The Verge 35.79
22 @DannyBittman Danny Bittman Google 35.27
23 @ryan_a_bell Ryan A Bell Ai AR VR Hydro Studios 35.16
24 @Joe_Durbin Joe Durbin Dome9Security 34.81
25 @PalmerLuckey Palmer Luckey Oculus 34.11
26 @hbarra Hugo Barra Facebook 33.27
27 @RoblemVR Rob Crasco #VR Cyber Adept 31.7
28 @JoshuaFarkas Josh Farkas Cubicle Ninjas 31.69
29 @auradeluxe Tony Parisi Unity 31.68
30 @MikeQuindazzi Mike Quindazzi PwC 31.48
31 @ID_AA_Carmack John Carmack Oculus 30.94
32 @jeremycdalton Jeremy Dalton PwC 30.57
33 @NathieVR Nathie YouTuber 29.75
34 @SkarredGhost TonyVT SkarredGhost SkarredGhost 29.28
35 @JessConditt Jessica L. Conditt Engadget 28.63
36 @evankirstel Evan Kirstel UCStrategies.com 28.4
37 @David_Jagneaux David Jagneaux Upload 28.02
38 @rikardsteiber Rikard Steiber HTC 27.85
39 @TheMalia Malia Probst #VR #AR VR Scout 27.8
40 @jobjstauffer Job J Stauffer Telltale Games 27.27
41 @vihartvihart Vi Hart VR Philosopher 26.36
42 @tomemrich Tom Emrich Super Ventures 24.24
43 @CharlieFink Charlie Fink Forbes Tech 24.24
44 @benz145 Benjamin Lang Road to VR 23.96
45 @cyceratops Cy Wise Owlchemy Labs 23.69
46 @CathyHackl CathyHackl AWNewYork VR AR Association 23.25
47 @vr_human Vlad [VRHuman] VRHuman 23.21
48 @misslivirose Liv Erickson High Fidelity 22.38
49 @Fisher85M Michael Fisher Whitcraft Group 21.07
50 @mano1creative Manuel Clément Google 20.29

 

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TOP 100 BRANDS

We also looked at all the brands engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top brands talking about virtual reality. Below is the top 50, if you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the report to get the full top 100 list, and see who are most the influential brands in virtual reality.

Rank Twitter Handle Name Influencer Score
1 @oculus Oculus 100
2 @HP HP 83.77
3 @htcvive HTC VIVE 59.34
4 @YouTube YouTube 58.21
5 @PlayStation PlayStation 44.89
6 @intel Intel 35.82
7 @googlevr Google VR 34.89
8 @unity3d Unity 29.81
9 @Microsoft Microsoft 27.57
10 @Tribeca Tribeca 24.82
11 @nvidia NVIDIA 24
12 @Dell Dell 23.47
13 @OculusRift Oculus Rift 21.47
14 @Sony Sony 20.71
15 @Ubisoft Ubisoft 20.58
16 @htc HTC 19.98
17 @SamsungMobileUS Samsung Mobile US 19.86
18 @AltspaceVR AltspaceVR 18.52
19 @OwlchemyLabs Owlchemy Labs 18.4
20 @sxsw SXSW 18.2
21 @tiltbrush Tilt Brush 17.71
22 @lenovo Lenovo 17.56
23 @ViewMaster View-Master 17.13
24 @AMD AMD 16.81
25 @Viveport Viveport 15.59
26 @nokia Nokia 15.56
27 @NVIDIAGeForce NVIDIA GeForce 15.15
28 @Polygon Polygon 14.97
29 @Discovery Discovery 14.43
30 @bethesda Bethesda 14.16
31 @NokiaVR Nokia VR 13.38
32 @Survios Survios 12.7
33 @Qualcomm Qualcomm 12.6
34 @CCPGames CCP Games 12.46
35 @cityflyby CityFlyBy.com 12.25
36 @IDC IDC 12
37 @vrlosangeles VRLA 11.93
38 @UnrealEngine Unreal Engine 11.62
39 @CES CES 11.41
40 @CloudheadGames Cloudhead Games 10.82
41 @highfidelityinc High Fidelity 10.61
42 @HoloLens Microsoft HoloLens 10.55
43 @PlayStationUK PlayStation UK 10.27
44 @ARealityEvent AWE 2017 10.26
45 @VirZOOM VirZOOM 9.63
46 @Sketchfab Sketchfab 9.42
47 @IBMWatson IBM Watson 9.36
48 @jauntvr Jaunt 8.59
49 @lavalvirtual Laval Virtual 8.18
50 @PwC PwC 8.18

 

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TOP 100 PUBLICATIONS

As part of our new analysis, we also now scan all the publications engaging on social media and on blogs to bring you a list of the top publications talking about virtual reality. Below is the top 50, if you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the report to get the full top 100 list.

Rank Twitter Handle Name Influencer Score
1 @UploadVR Upload 100
2 @VRFocus VRFocus 69.87
3 @TechCrunch TechCrunch 68.96
4 @Forbes Forbes 64.63
5 @RtoVR Road to VR 51.59
6 @VRScout VRScout 49.09
7 @VentureBeat VentureBeat 46.91
8 @mashable Mashable 46.1
9 @engadget Engadget 44.77
10 @verge The Verge 44.07
11 @WIRED WIRED 39.94
12 @IGN IGN 36.42
13 @FastCompany Fast Company 32.87
14 @ForbesTech Forbes Tech News 30.99
15 @virtrealitytime VirtualReality Times 30.96
16 @DigitalTrends Digital Trends 25.16
17 @BBCClick BBC Click 23.5
18 @motherboard Motherboard 22.91
19 @CreativeReview Creative Review 22.39
20 @pcworld PCWorld 21.87
21 @BBC BBC 21.49
22 @TheNextWeb TNW 20.76
23 @gamespot GameSpot 19.7
24 @pcgamer PC Gamer 19.61
25 @CNET CNET 19.57
26 @VICE VICE 17.73
27 @nextvr NextVR 16.82
28 @tomshardware Tom’s Hardware 16.58
29 @Gizmodo Gizmodo 16.17
30 @OfficialVRology VR•ology 15.34
31 @techreview MIT Tech Review 14.8
32 @wareable Wareable 14.66
33 @ipfconline1 ipfconline 14.2
34 @gamasutra Gamasutra 13.42
35 @InfinityLeap Infinityleap 13.17
36 @techradar TechRadar 12.83
37 @TheGadgetShow The Gadget Show 12.32
38 @bigpotplant Epic VR Channel 12.16
39 @TheDrum The Drum 11.11
40 @ARTEfr ARTE 11.02
41 @goSpectral Spectral VR 10.9
42 @futurism Futurism 10.41
43 @frontlinepbs FRONTLINE 10.2
44 @medialab MIT Media Lab 10.09
45 @GamesMaster GamesMaster 9.94
46 @Techmeme Techmeme 9.83
47 @virtualtoday VirtualToday 9.73
48 @DiscoverMag Discover Magazine 9.55
49 @teamnotey Notey 9.54
50 @VrIndies VR INDIES 9.36

 

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At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to give back to our loyal readers as much as we can. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Big DataAugmented RealityDigital Marketing) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter?

Effective influencer marketing starts with identifying relevant influencers for your brand. Onalytica’s new Discovery platform mines over 200 billion posts a year into a curated database of over 500K global social media influencers, including data from Twitter, Blogs, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn Profile Links + Demographic Data. Our software enables you to identify influencers by topic, demographic or content and includes real-time tracking and measurement reporting to scale your influencer relations. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE TRIAL!


Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The individuals, brands and publications listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion around virtual reality.

The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives measured as resonance (engagement). These calculations also take into account a user’s relevance (number of tweets on topic) and reach (number of followers). If you want to learn more, please read our article that outlines influencer identification.