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Revived Cyworld to feature immersive metaverse shops

Cyworld's corporate logo (Cyworld Z)
Cyworld's corporate logo (Cyworld Z)

Cyworld Z, the 2021 revival of the once-popular homegrown social networking service of the same name, will feature immersive virtual shops, utilizing its metaverse platform, in partnership with local retail giant GS Retail.

GS Retail signed a business agreement with Cyworld Z at the GS Group headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday for the project.

Cyworld Z is a consortium of five firms including Kosdaq-listed Intromedic and Sky E&M, which purchased Cyworld in January this year, in hopes of revamping South Korea‘s first-generation social media platform Cyworld.

Cyworld Z previously announced that the company has redesigned its platform with a local extended reality firm to add real-time 3D and virtual reality features to the platform.

Cyworld Z said the company invested a total of 7 billion won ($6 million) to refurbish the old platform.

Under the latest agreement, GS Retail plans to connect its existing e-commerce and offline stores with Cyworld’s new metaverse platform, the company said.

GS Retail said it will use Cyworld’s new metaverse platform to secure millennial and Generation Z customers.

In November, GS Retail will open its own channel on Cyworld Z, GS Retail said. The retail giant added that the company plans to work with Cyworld to launch a live commerce feature, which combines streaming and e-commerce.

“GS Retail will continue to provide differentiated e-commerce services and contents in collaboration with Cyworld,” an executive member of GS Retail said.

Meanwhile, Cyworld Z pushed back the launch of its new platform to August due to security issues.

Cyworld Z earlier this month announced the delay over what the company said a series of cyberattacks from overseas hackers.

Cyworld, which started its service in 1999, was the dominant social media platform in South Korea, with nearly 32 million members at one point.

It, however, began to lose appeal with the expansion of foreign platforms like Facebook. The company abruptly stopped the service in October 2019 due to financial difficulties.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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