Zepeto, the metaverse you do not know with hundreds of millions of users

The battle for Metaverse did not wait for Mark Zuckerberg’s announcements to begin. Besides Roblox (the video game giant), it’s the South Korean Zepeto that gathers fans and money.

You do not know him, and yet Zepeto may be the next big name in the metaverse. The platform, launched in 2018, already has more than 250 million users, and above all many brands and influencers of all kinds. In Asia, its popularity is impressive: the app is widely used in South Korea, but also in Japan, China and Indonesia. But Zepeto is also increasingly popular in Europe, Brazil and the United States.

Metaverse projects, kind of virtual worlds where users can interact with avatars, are becoming more numerous. And that of Zepeto is a worldwide success, which has just been estimated at a billion dollars after an investment by SoftBank in November. And yet Zepeto remains largely unknown. What is this platform? And does his metavers have a future?

Zepeto, what exactly is it?

Zepeto, the meta-verse you do not know, has hundreds of millions of users
Experience Paris (but without the Parisians!) At Zepeto // Source: Zepeto

Another me in another universe »: This is how Zepeto defines himself. The metaverset comes in the form of an app that allows users to ” explore a virtual world with their avatars, that is unique and customizable. Zepeto also allows «Find friends from all over the world wherever you want A virtual world where avatars can meet, talk to each other, exchange, but also buy clothes, build houses, make cards.

The Zepeto universe is reminiscent of Second Life, the meta-verse launched in 2003. But there is a big difference between the two projects: 70% of Zepeto users are women. Most of them are also very young: they are between 13 and 24 years old. ” Many of our users have not yet installed Instagram. It’s even more likely that they’ve never used Facebook “, explained to the BBC Rudy Lee, Zepeto’s Strategy Director.” We are for many the first social network they use. ”

What seems to attract fans of Zepeto, in addition to the ability to master its appearance, is to avoid the pressure that prevails on other social networks. Users explain that they can better escape the eyes of others on Zepeto and bad experiences. “ There is no obligation, we do not have to show our face Explained a user of the meta-verse to the BBC.

A space mainly populated by women, and which has given an entire fashion economy the opportunity to evolve, with its influencers and brands.

Zepeto has already managed to create an economy

Purchasing clothes to dress the avatars actually represents a very important part of the shopping in the metaverse. Some users who have created collections of accessories on the platform have become real influences on Zepeto with their own stores. Above all, all these purchases give them a real salary: the virtual currency in the metaverse, zem, can be exchanged for ” right »Currencies.

In addition to influences and “house” stores, Zepeto has attracted an impressive number of luxury brands since its inception: Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Dior and even Christian Louboutin. And it is these brands that are also participating in the development of the metaverse’s economy, by creating an active world where many events are organized. On Zepeto’s Instagram account (followed by more than a million people) we can thus see that Samsung, Starbuck Coffee, Marvel, the manga One Piece and the K-Pop groups Black Pink and SB19 have all launched collections, specials or events.

Zepeto, the meta-verse you do not know, has hundreds of millions of users
The Disney collection at Zepeto // Source: Zepeto

In the end, Zepeto is a very active metavers with a thriving economy, much more so than Zuckerberg imagines, which is not yet fully accessible and relatively sparsely populated. The Facebook meta-verse is also experiencing these first controversies, especially in terms of safety for users: sexual harassment is already widely present there.

Zepeto, presented as a safe and benevolent place, already seems to be the opposite of the metavers that Mark Zuckerberg imagines. Between Roblox, which welcomes a large community of players, will Meta be able to catch up? At the moment, nothing has been played yet. But as Stanley Kim, who works in a company specializing in the meta-verse, told the BBC, the battle is getting tough. ” It’s like the beginning of the internet. There were many companies in the market, but in the end, only a few of them managed to dominate the industry. And it will also happen for the metaverse. »

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