CyWorld is a Korean social-networking site that has already managed to persuade one-third of online Koreans to register (90% of Koreans in their 20s are users). According to Business Week, CyWorld is poised to take on the US market and to increase competition and innovation.
CyWorld differs from sites such as MySpace and Bebo by being more ‘cute’ and also by the aggressive way it sells downloads and add-ons, Business Week estimates the annual revenue for sales as US$120million. One of the features of CyWorld is its use of avatars to help express moods and emotions. The ability to dress, arrange, and buy accessories for avatars is credited as one of the reasons CyWorld is so popular with females.
One of the key associated services with CyWorld is NateOn, an instant messaging service, that rivals but is not compatible with MSN. It will be interesting to see whether the US is willing to adopt NateOn, even if it adopts CyWorld.
Many thanks to Karen Stanton (MD Asia Pacific, Colmar Brunton) for highlighting the story