South Korea’s Cyworld wants to bring back the 2000s, this time in a metaverse avatar

At any time marvel what it would be like to revisit favourite AOL and ICQ chat rooms? Or greater continue to, your Orkut or MySpace communities? 

South Korea’s Cyworld needs to convey back again memories from the 2000s with the assist of blockchain technology. 

The the moment ubiquitous South Korean social media network claims to recover users’ aged posts, comments, and near to 20 billion shots and videos — attracting a few million old buyers to revamp their accounts in significantly less than two months immediately after the relaunch.

“If my best buddy did not remedy my calls from my flip telephone, the up coming go-to was turning on my Computer and writing on her Cyworld website page,” stated 37-12 months-previous Park Seul-ah, who spent her 20s in the heyday of Cyworld.

“Of system I recovered my account. I want to check my list of mates at that time, my memory-filled photos and entries,” Park mentioned. “Revisiting Cyworld is like opening a box of treasures in the corner of my room that I forgot even existed.”

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In its prime, Cyworld boasted 32 million consumers — that is 13 out of 20 South Koreans — a statistic that any social media platform would envy. But with the likes of Fb and Twitter, South Koreans moved on from the homegrown phenomenon. 

Cyworld tried out numerous occasions to reclaim its former glory but faltered for several reasons. 

cyworld mobile
The re-introduced Cyworld Z cellular application

Under no circumstances say never ever

This time all around, the social community that as soon as claimed to have just about each individual South Korean in their twenties has one thing exclusive up its sleeve. 

Rebranded as Cyworld Z, it is upgrading its products and services with cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse. 

“Z is the previous of the alphabet,” Kim Tae-hoon explained to Forkast in an exceptional job interview. “Cyworld Z will be the supreme social networking provider (SNS),” the chief executive officer of Cyworld Z mentioned.

The first Cyworld made use of an electronic currency named Dotori, which suggests acorn in Korean. Each individual was worthy of 100 South Korean gained (US$.08). 

Dotori was utilized to acquire decorative objects for a user’s avatar or history audio that would engage in every time another person entered the user’s homepage named “mini-homepage.”

“Dotori was the initial electronic currency before the increase of blockchain,” Kim discussed. “It ushered in an era wherever people purchased audio, gifted close friends and paid tribute to stars with Dotori.” 

Just take two

Cyworld Z is now issuing a Dotori cryptocurrency

But Kim states it won’t switch the authentic Dotori on the revamped Cyworld platform — instead, the Dotori (DTR) crypto token will be transferable with the in-system Dotori currency. 

Whilst 1 could possibly dilemma the purpose of owning a cryptocurrency, Dotori will prove by itself as a utility token afterwards this calendar year when Cyworld Z launches its metaverse, and an NFT market, where the Dotori could be likely utilized as forex, Kim claimed.

But this time about, Cyworld Z does have the chops to pull it off. 

Together with nearby technologies agency Hancom, the agency built a metaverse named Cyworld Hancom City, which ran as a beta support in December last year. At its formal start, the Dotori will be utilised for buying, almost conference stars and paying for NFTs in the 3D metaverse that is related to the cellular Cyworld social media service.

See connected article: Main South Korean financial institutions program digital branches in the metaverse

NFTs will perform a huge portion in Cyworld’s long term, the firm states. 

It strategies to let each and every consumer to generate their own NFTs — these who mint their photos as NFTs on the platform will be rewarded with in-video game Dotori, which can then be swapped into the Dotori cryptocurrency or “SNS-to-earn,” as Cyworld Z would like to get in touch with in reference to what the social networking support is pushing for.

cyworld z metaverse screenshot
The Cyworld 3D metaverse at present in improvement

Not a bed of roses

Cyworld’s comeback does have its share of critics. 

Some argue that Cyworld’s lack of world recognition will hamper its move into NFTs and the metaverse, the place universality is the vital. 

But Kim is unperturbed.

“With the enjoyment content Cyworld has geared up, several world wide admirers of Korean tradition will move into Cyworld,” he explained to Forkast.

A different impediment in the route to reclaiming missing glory is the heft that globally-dominant social networks this sort of as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok carry to the recreation the place network outcomes make the variance involving an also-ran and a deserving rival. 

Letting it lie

Forkast requested people on Twitter and TruePicture, a South Korean online group, to vote on whether or not they would keep on Cyworld soon after they end exploring their earlier recollections. 

On the other hand, 46 out of the 59 polled replied in the detrimental. 

“It has practically nothing more than nostalgia,” an anonymous voter wrote. “Once I collect my old pictures and diary entries, I’ll go back to Instagram,” the voter additional.

A further person stated that present providers catered to the desires of the men and women well enough for them to really feel the need for Cyworld.

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“Instagram and Facebook share a disadvantage as a vertical, open up-form social networking service,” the Cyworld Z CEO explained. “The feeds of the person and other individuals get blended jointly,” he extra. “In the shut-sort and horizontal Cyworld, the user normally takes centre phase.”

Kim further more stated that individuals stopped sharing their lives on Fb and Instagram as posts get shared speedily and unknowingly throughout the globe, and that individuals exhausted of the openness will appear again to Cyworld.

At least a single revisiting user, Park Seul-ah, was in arrangement. 

“At the very least on Cyworld I would not be pressured to appear at adverts on my feed or an absurd TikTok development,” Park claimed. “I’m going to use Cyworld with out remaining conscious about what folks might think.”  

Betting on reminiscences

Reviving the memory-crammed Cyworld with a blockchain-led edge these kinds of as perform-to-receive (P2E) will enable the platform get aggressive advantage, in accordance to Kim.

The evidence in the pudding for that declare possibly lies in the actuality that Cyworld Z has shipped only a portion of what it promised. 

The platform is even now doing the job toward reuploading the archived posts and pictures, regardless of a plethora of automated software program methods in the market.

A launch day for the NFT market or the official metaverse has however to be formally mentioned despite an internal white paper suggesting a start within just the 3rd quarter, which ends in Sept. 30. 

Past delays don’t encourage a great deal self-confidence. A re-start previously this thirty day period was postponed five instances because 2021.

Park Solar-young, a professor of economics at Dongguk University, suggests Cyworld Z will have to supply if it wishes to succeed.

“People are no extended enamored by a undertaking just for the reason that it is making use of blockchain technological innovation,” Park reported. “The marketplace has matured, and initiatives require to expose what they will specialize in and how they will differentiate them selves from other folks.”

Cyworld Z’s Kim is most likely hoping the power of memories will easy about any missteps. 

“The largest asset of Cyworld is nostalgia,” Kim claimed, referring to Cyworld Z’s strategy to goal people born between 1981 to 1995 — its the moment most faithful people.

“Some 32 million people, 17 billion shots, 160 million video clips and 1.1 billion diary entries — the value of reminiscences will not vanish in a limited period of time of time,” he stated.


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