Cyworld vs. MySpace.com
Cyworld, the Korean import which has just launched in the US yesterday, is all set to give MySpace a run for its money with new twist on social networking. While MySpace is a bit behind in its look, template features and basic technology, Cyworld is beyond cool; with virtual rooms, worlds and Asian influenced mobile social networking.
Cyworld users can construct profiles and upload photos, just like MySpace (well, except for using 2006 technology and admin) and also keep journals (blogs) & guest books while also building their own minirooms, minivaults (for files & such), sketchbooks for doodling, and favorite links (think bookmarking).
All of this information is kept within a user’s “Minihome.”
Best of all, and reminiscent of Yahoo’s Social Identity efforts which are in themselves influenced by the Asian web, Cyworld also lets its members construct their own Minime – an avatar in Cyworld.
Your Minime represents all aspects of you … the “you” inside of you, the “you” you want to be. Or just the “you” you feel like sharing today. Have fun styling your Minime. You can change its hair, clothing, facial expression, mood, position and background as often as you like.
There is no big search engine partnership I know of to date or major announcements since the launch, Cyworld does however have its own currency, the acorn, which can be used to purchase new skins, charms and stuff for one’s Miniroom (like furniture and pets!).
Totally tween targeted and perhaps more mother approved than MySpace.com, Cyworld threw a big launch party yesterday in San Francisco which was attended by GigaOM’s Katie Fehrenbacher;
A lot of high-level execs from Korea were wandering the floor, from both SK Telecom and Cyworld division, along with Cyworld U.S. consultants like Marc Canter. Since parent company SK Telecom has a lot of funds behind it, they can afford to throw a pretty decent party.
An interactive map across one wall proved Cyworld’s global ambitions, and party-goers scribbled comments on the spread while sipping strong Cyworld margaritas.
Oh yes, if you have not heard of SK Telecom before you may have heard of their previous entry into the US mobile market, a joint venture with Earthlink called Helio – the mobile arm of MySpace. (Bam!)