In a world of NFT’s, cryptocurrency, and the metaverse, we’ve become accustomed to thinking about artificial intelligence as part of our future. Something that wasn’t on our 2022 bingo card, though? The fact that Shakira’s YouTube video thumbnails are suddenly full of robots.

Fans immediately took notice of the change on the “Underneath Your Clothes” singer’s YouTube channel, which took a 180-degree turn yesterday. The thumbnails for videos like “Don’t Wait Up,” “Perro Fiel,” and World Cup anthem “Waka Waka” now all feature the same robot in the background. So what is going on?

Thankfully, we all have a little thing called Reddit to collectively try to figure it out.

Shakira’s diehard fans took to the website to air out possibilities, and consider us mind-blown. For one, some believe the sudden appearance of the robots is a marketing tactic — but for what? One Redditor suspected, “this better not be some NFT bulls**t i swear to god,” with someone replying, “My first thought. It would be the nail in the coffin of my fandom.”

Others don’t believe the move has anything to do with NFT’s at all — but might actually hint at a new single. One fan seems to have the full lowdown on the possible drop, writing, “Looks like this is in fact marketing for a new song. Which will be in Spanish and feature Rauw Alejandro.”

While this has not been confirmed, we’re definitely dreaming about that collab now.

Many fans agreed that this is actually a marketing strategy for a single release, writing, “This has to be one of the oddest ways to tease a new single… I love it” and “Promo for the new single i think. I saw some leaked pictures of a green set… She’s a big fan of the robot dance. One of her signature moves.”

It’s true: she has often performed her own version of the “robot dance,” such as when she sang “She Wolf” on “SNL” in 2009:

So whether the possible single is a collaboration, many are suspecting it could mean the unveiling of “electropop Shakira” or even her “bionic era,” with a user explaining: “I thought that was [what] ‘She Wolf’ [was] about, and for sure I’ll be down for electropop Shakira.”

Overall, consensus is that this is a probable marketing tactic… and it’s fun. One user wrote, “I love Easter eggs. I have to stan…” while another commented, “Cybernetic Queen. I’m scared. The A.I Singularity is coming.”

More proof that it’s a promotional ploy? As one Redditor explained, the thumbnail of the music video for Black Eyed Peas’ “Girl Like Me” featuring Shakira also has a robot now — so it is very doubtful the “Hips Don’t Lie” star was hacked. 

Still, some people continue to wonder if Shakira was actually hacked, mostly because other stars like Eminem, Drake, Ariana Grande, and Lil Nas X have all fallen victim to hacked YouTube accounts at one point or another. That being said, it’s safe to say Reddit has mostly debunked that theory — and we’re crossing our fingers all of this means a new Shakira single in our future!