Ever marvel what it will be prefer to revisit favourite AOL and ICQ chat rooms? Or higher nonetheless, your Orkut or MySpace communities?
South Korea’s Cyworld needs to convey again recollections from the 2000s with the assistance of blockchain expertise.
The as soon as ubiquitous South Korean social media community guarantees to recuperate customers’ previous posts, feedback, and shut to twenty billion photos and movies — attracting three million previous customers to revamp their accounts in lower than two weeks after the relaunch.
“If my greatest good friend didn’t reply my calls from my flip telephone, the following go-to was turning on my PC and writing on her Cyworld web page,” mentioned 37-year-old Park Seul-ah, who spent her 20s within the heyday of Cyworld.
“In fact I recovered my account. I wish to test my record of pals at the moment, my memory-filled photos and entries,” Park mentioned. “Revisiting Cyworld is like opening a field of treasures within the nook of my room that I forgot even existed.”
See associated article: Meta recordsdata 8 trademark functions for cryptocurrency, metaverse
In its prime, Cyworld boasted 32 million customers — that’s 13 out of 20 South Koreans — a statistic that any social media platform would envy. However with the likes of Fb and Twitter, South Koreans moved on from the homegrown phenomenon.
Cyworld tried a number of occasions to reclaim its former glory however faltered for numerous causes.
By no means say by no means
This time round, the social community that when claimed to have almost each South Korean of their twenties has one thing particular up its sleeve.
Rebranded as Cyworld Z, it’s upgrading its providers with cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse.
“Z is the final of the alphabet,” Kim Tae-hoon informed Forkast in an unique interview. “Cyworld Z would be the final social networking service (SNS),” the chief government officer of Cyworld Z mentioned.
The unique Cyworld made use of an digital forex named Dotori, which implies acorn in Korean. Every was price 100 South Korean received (US$0.08).
Dotori was used to buy ornamental gadgets for a person’s avatar or background music that might play each time somebody entered the person’s homepage named “mini-homepage.”
“Dotori was the unique digital forex earlier than the rise of blockchain,” Kim defined. “It ushered in an period the place individuals purchased music, gifted pals and paid tribute to stars with Dotori.”
Cyworld Z is now issuing a Dotori cryptocurrency.
However Kim says it received’t substitute the unique Dotori on the revamped Cyworld platform — moderately, the Dotori (DTR) crypto token might be transferable with the in-platform Dotori forex.
Whereas one may query the aim of getting a cryptocurrency, Dotori will show itself as a utility token later this yr when Cyworld Z launches its metaverse, and an NFT market, the place the Dotori could possibly be doubtlessly used as forex, Kim claimed.
However this time round, Cyworld Z does have the chops to drag it off.
Together with native expertise agency Hancom, the agency constructed a metaverse named Cyworld Hancom City, which ran as a beta service in December final yr. At its official launch, the Dotori might be used for purchasing, nearly assembly celebrities and buying NFTs within the 3D metaverse that’s related to the cellular Cyworld social media service.
See associated article: Main South Korean banks plan digital branches within the metaverse
NFTs will play a giant half in Cyworld’s future, the corporate says.
It plans to permit each person to create their very own NFTs — those that mint their photos as NFTs on the platform might be rewarded with in-game Dotori, which may then be swapped into the Dotori cryptocurrency or “SNS-to-earn,” as Cyworld Z wish to name in reference to what the social networking service is pushing for.
Not a mattress of roses
Cyworld’s comeback does have its share of critics.
Some argue that Cyworld’s lack of worldwide recognition will hamper its transfer into NFTs and the metaverse, the place universality is the important thing.
However Kim is unperturbed.
“With the leisure content material Cyworld has ready, many world followers of Korean tradition will circulation into Cyworld,” he informed Forkast.
One other impediment within the path to reclaiming misplaced glory is the heft that globally-dominant social networks akin to Fb, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok convey to the sport the place community results make the distinction between an also-ran and a worthy rival.
Letting it lie
Forkast requested customers on Twitter and TruePicture, a South Korean on-line neighborhood, to vote on whether or not they would keep on Cyworld after they end exploring their previous recollections.
Nevertheless, 46 out of the 59 polled replied within the damaging.
“It has nothing greater than nostalgia,” an nameless voter wrote. “As soon as I gather my previous photos and diary entries, I’ll return to Instagram,” the voter added.
One other person defined that present providers catered to the wants of the individuals nicely sufficient for them to really feel the necessity for Cyworld.
See associated article: What decentralization can provide Net 3.0 and social media | Half 1
“Instagram and Fb share an obstacle as a vertical, open-form social networking service,” the Cyworld Z CEO mentioned. “The feeds of the person and others get blended collectively,” he added. “Within the closed-form and horizontal Cyworld, the person takes middle stage.”
Kim additional defined that individuals stopped sharing their lives on Fb and Instagram as posts get shared speedily and unknowingly throughout the globe, and that these uninterested in the openness will come again to Cyworld.
No less than one revisiting person, Park Seul-ah, was in settlement.
“No less than on Cyworld I wouldn’t be pressured to take a look at commercials on my feed or an absurd TikTok pattern,” Park mentioned. “I’m going to make use of Cyworld with out being aware about what individuals may suppose.”
Betting on recollections
Reviving the memory-filled Cyworld with a blockchain-led edge akin to play-to-earn (P2E) will assist the platform acquire aggressive benefit, in keeping with Kim.
The proof within the pudding for that declare maybe lies in the truth that Cyworld Z has delivered solely a fraction of what it promised.
The platform continues to be working in direction of reuploading the archived posts and pictures, regardless of a plethora of automated software program options within the market.
A launch date for the NFT market or the official metaverse has but to be formally said regardless of an inside white paper suggesting a launch throughout the third quarter, which ends in Sept. 30.
Earlier delays don’t encourage a lot confidence. A re-launch earlier this month was postponed 5 occasions since 2021.
Park Solar-young, a professor of economics at Dongguk College, says Cyworld Z should ship if it needs to succeed.
“Persons are now not enamored by a venture simply because it’s making use of blockchain expertise,” Park mentioned. “The market has matured, and tasks must reveal what they’ll focus on and the way they’ll differentiate themselves from others.”
Cyworld Z’s Kim is probably going hoping the facility of recollections will clean over any missteps.
“The most important asset of Cyworld is nostalgia,” Kim mentioned, referring to Cyworld Z’s plan to focus on these born between 1981 to 1995 — its as soon as most loyal customers.
“Some 32 million customers, 17 billion photos, 160 million movies and 1.1 billion diary entries — the worth of recollections is not going to disappear in a brief time period,” he mentioned.