- Nate Levin, IMVU Producer, blends Burning Man philosophy, VR technology and social media to create tomorrow’s communication
- Radical self-expression reveals a “realer you” and truer connections
- Would meeting your boss in a different form within Social VR make your working relationship better?
Messaging and social networks are second nature to us all — and now, with the widespread adoption of VR, virtual communities are about to leap out from chatrooms and become a lot more real in the realm of Social VR.
Or, as Nate Levin, Producer from IMVU explains, a lot more unreal: this jump is being informed by radical festivals like Burning Man. So not only will Social VR allow stronger, closer, more meaningful virtual relationships; they’ll be much more expressive and weird than the real world.
Suddenly, meeting over a coffee and croissant sounds downright boring… listen to Nate’s vision of a truly social, virtual future — and read his key thoughts below.
Social VR is not about tech or “features”. It’s about what makes us human:
If you work in or with Social VR: focus on the human. Focus on the tribe and what brings us together. What will keep you in Social VR are the people you meet and the experiences you have.
People already know what Social VR will feel like:
Social VR feels like the kind of connection you get when you’re sitting right next to the person you’re talking to. This is different to like social gaming, where collaborative play is rooted in a made-up game world: Social VR feels like people being in a room and actually together.
Social VR platforms exist already, in the shape of real-world transformative festivals:
Think of Burning Man and IMVU as platforms: they’re platforms for people to create, express themselves and to socialise.
They’re platforms in the way that Youtube is a platform to do creative, expressive things.
Social VR is about alternative lifestyle acceptance:
Transformational festival cultures like Burning Man allow you to meet and engage with strangers from all over the world in a safe, easy way. You can dress, behave and react as a character that best expresses who you are. A festival provides both the “gateway” and platform to do this: Social VR does the same thing.
Radical self-expression and unique user avatars are vital to Social VR:
The self-created avatar is extremely important: it’s how everyone first meets you. Seeing multiple users’ avatars in a face-to-face experience is key to the future of Social VR. And at Burning Man, a similar idea takes place: festival-goers plan, create and perform their identity.
Avatars are also grounding, freeing, and allow fluid connectivity:
Unique avatars ground communication and allow “real-feel” validation from the other people through participation and creation in the shared VR experience.
Choosing a new name, look and attitude is important for self-expression but also for anonymity: you are free to be yourself. The pressure to perform is off.
Choose your tribe early on — then hang around to build security and stickiness:
Social VR taps into our tribal roots. Pick a demographic from the start and nurture it. IMVU and Social VR is very focussed on “rooms” — like campsites: you might spend most of your time a group of 30–40 people who are like you.
You then bake-in your cultural values from the start. These are the values that will define it later on, and drive growth as well as helps community policing. The cultural ethos is built-in, so it supports a safe space for expression, communication and empathy.
We’ve just made a massive update to Bar Blitz for IMVU, our nightlife mixology game, with tons of new features! Check out all the new things you can do in this IMVU game where you compete with millions of others to rise in FAME! Be sure to update your app and log into the latest version of Bar Blitz with your IMVU account to start playing. Also, in case you missed it, we launched a desktop web based version a few weeks ago that you can try here.
Introducing The Leaderboard: Compete against your friends to be the best mixologist in Cape Angeles! Earn more fame by throwing more parties and race to the top of the charts! We’ll be having credit give away contests to the top mixologists in Bar Blitz, which you can check out here.
Invite your friends to take shifts behind your bar: With this brand new feature, you can invite your IMVU friends to help you out by playing parties you’ve unlocked. Here’s how to do it:
Select a level, hit that party invite button:
Pick a friend. You can even invite friends who haven’t played Bar Blitz before; they’ll get an IMVU message letting them know how to get started. Hit invite:
Then they’ll get the party invite:
That’s it! If they beat the level, they get a special prize. Plus, you’re rewarded too with Fame and Coins.
Run the hottest NEW venue in town; the Carpe Diem yacht: Think you’ve mastered all the recipes and locations in Bar Blitz? Think again! We’ve added a brand new location with 20 new levels and tons of cocktail recipes to master.
Just like the Bohemia bar, when you unlock Carpe Diem in Bar Blitz, you get a FREE IMVU room for the level to continue the party in IMVU.
It’s Christmas Time: All the hottest venues in Cape Angeles are getting in the holiday spirit; decking the halls with Christmas cheer. Just like your local clubs this time of year, the party goers are sporting their Santa hats while hitting the town.
Performance Improvements: We’ve been hard at work under the hood tuning up every aspect of Bar Blitz. Now the game should run much faster on your mobile device and load quicker on IMVU Next. Remember, the first time you load the game on Next is the longest. After that, it loads quickly and you’re good to go!
Let’s get FAMOUS! Download or update Bar Blitz for IMVU today on Google Play, iTunes, or IMVU Next on the Web.
Holiday Emoji For Yuletide Cheer – as seen in Gear Brain (December 19, 2016)
The holiday season can be enough to send anyone into celebration overload. But we’ve collected the perfect pack of holiday emoji, stickers and keyboard sets to bring some spirited selections to your December days.
Whether you sport an iPhone or an Android device, you can send these holiday tidings without breaking your holiday budget. Season’s Greetings to all!
WithMoji.com has crafted its usual pack of emoji options that can be personalized to look just like you. From ice skating on a frozen pond, building a snowman, or lighting up your friends’ day with a bright note through iMessage, WithMoji has dozens of options, including the one above. Tailored for men and women, these are free, and easily downloaded from iTunes, or on their web site.
The Short Version: You can live out your fantasy with the help of IMVU, an immersive avatar-based social experience on the web. Registering online is free and takes only a moment to customize your avatar. Then you’ll be welcomed by the world’s largest 3D chat and dress-up community of over 140 million accounts. IMVU members often build close connections with one another, helped along by features like one-on-one chatting and member matching. Whether you’re into cosplay or the goth look, all members are encouraged to express their individualism as they interact in a safe and entertaining space. By customizing your social experience, IMVU offers a world of opportunity to have fun and find romance.inShare22
In December 2015, a young woman in Wisconsin joined IMVU, an avatar-based social experience, as an escape from tough times, but what she found was an avenue to love. She matched with Shaun, who lived in South Africa, and they began chatting and hanging out in the virtual world.
After three months of close contact in IMVU’s immersive world, her avatar got down on one knee, and he said “Yes.” They threw an IMVU wedding, and there was nothing pretend about how they felt for one another. She flew to Capetown, South Africa (it was her first time leaving Wisconsin) to meet her online love in real life. “He had the biggest smile on his face,” she recalled. “I spent two amazing weeks with the man of my dreams.” Within a year, the couple got married in person, embarking on their new life together.
Their love transcended physical boundaries thanks to the connective power of an online social experience. Founded in 2004, IMVU is a headset-free virtual reality with tons of customizable features. The site hosts more than 140 million accounts chatting, exploring, and socializing every day. Daters can create an avatar for free to meet people in a casual, low-pressure environment.
Members can personalize their IMVU avatars with over 20 million virtual items available.
IMVU avatars give users the chance to cast off their insecurities and create a look all their own. For millions of singles, this social escapism opens up a world of possibility. Meeting people in real life can be stressful, requiring planning and effort, but, on IMVU, all you have to do is log in and start chatting.
“We don’t make the content on IMVU — we provide the space for people to socialize, and they create the rest for themselves,” said Lindsay Anne Aamodt, Director of Communications for IMVU. “It’s infinite customization for their avatar, and a lot of members use it as an aspirational vehicle.”
In IMVU’s 3D virtual experience, there are no boundaries to your self-expression. You can look how you want to look, go where you want to go, and easily meet people who share common interests. And, as Shaun and his bride found out, these close ties on the site can sometimes blossom into real-life romance.
“They pay attention, and they really care about the IMVU community,” Lindsay said. “Because we’ve continued to develop our product, our members have stayed with us over the years.”
This strong network of IMVU members form tight bonds that span the globe. While a majority of users come from English-speaking countries, Lindsay told us IMVU has a presence in hundreds of countries worldwide. To meet new people and get your flirt on, you can conduct a filtered search by gender and location. Members tend to be on the younger side, between 18 and 24 years old, and many are receptive to building relationships with other users.
On your profile, you can specify your relationship status, sexual orientation, and what you’re looking for (chatting, relationships, friendship, or other).
As a whole, IMVU is a popular social setting to meet potential love matches. The avatar’s profile setup looks a lot like a dating site’s go-to format, with the page highlighting your interests, recent visitors, groups, and friends. You can also add outfits, stickers, or a special someone on the sidebar. You choose your “special someone” by typing the avatar’s name and sending a notification message to let that person know you think highly of him or her.
To further encourage you to grow your social network, IMVU makes friend suggestions in the upper corner of your profile.
For singles looking to meet people, the Get Matched feature is particularly helpful. This dating tool will connect you to attractive members who share your interests. You can like or pass the profile, and you’ll be notified if that person likes you back.
If you hit it off with someone special, you can plan an IMVU wedding in the virtual space as a way to test the relationship waters or just as an excuse to dress up your avatar. It’s all a fantasy, so you don’t have to commit to forever to say these “I dos.”
It’s easy to make new friends on IMVU because so much on the site is meant to be shared with others. In this custom world, you have control over your own experience. Your creativity will attract attention, and you can even turn a profit by creating items for sale. Creators can trade more than 6 million items on IMVU, and the catalog is constantly growing as more and more people add to it.
In the IMVU office, the walls are lined with user-generated content, and CEO Brett Durrett sits in a cubicle alongside his team. The positive, collaborative vibe comes from a shared passion for their membership. The team takes pride in the creativity of their users and frequently displays the original works of art made possible by the virtual world.
“We value people who are unique and creative,” she said. “We feel passionate about what our users are doing, and we hear all these beautiful stories of friendships and relationships between members.”
The San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal both named IMVU among the “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area” because of their upbeat and transparent work environment. Everyone on the team has an avatar of their own and believes in the company’s mission to bring people together online.
Down to the last detail, the IMVU team has engineered an engaging fantasy space for people around the world. Through their dedication, they have amassed the largest catalog of virtual items in the world. “If an item isn’t listed in the IMVU catalog, it basically doesn’t exist in the world,” Lindsay stated. “That’s how vast our catalog is. It’s massive.”
You can have the wedding you could never afford in real life or go partying at a raging club without leaving your house. It’s all up to you.
“There is no limit to what you can do,” Lindsay said. “It’s all based on your creativity, your imagination, and your interests.”
IMVU’s immersive virtual experience facilitates camaraderie in a unique social setting. It’s free to register and start chatting with people who share similar interests. Like the Wisconsin woman and her South African lover, you may meet someone who would never have crossed your path otherwise, and find that you’re a perfect fit.
“Shaun in my best friend, companion, partner, lover, my rock that keeps me grounded. He is just my complete everything,” the IMVU member said. “And I would be truly lost if he wasn’t in my life.”
Ho, HO, HOLIDAY Withmoji! You haven’t said “season’s greetings” until you send any one of these new Holiday WithMoji. Light up your holiday lights, grab your mistletoe, or swing from the Christmas tree in this new Holiday Pack that says WINTER IS COMING!
Available now in the WithMoji Shop, the new Holiday Pack is just 1,500 Credits to put the holla back in the holidays.
Get your Holiday WithMoji HERE!
The US Presidential election is nearly here and it’s one for the history books. No matter where you are in the world, election fever is hot and there’s no better way to join the conversation than with slapstick WithMoij. Check out WithMoji Shop for the new Election Fever pack to join in on the fun.
Available NOW, Election Fever is 1,000 Credits and features hilarious campaign moments to the make conversation more fun than ever before.
From Refinery29: Things You Need to Do This Halloween with your iPhone
You’ve been catching up on your not-so-horrible horror flicks and planning this year’s epic (or last-minute) Halloween get-up, but you’re still looking for something more to get into the Halloween spirit. This year, there’s a ton you can do to start making things spooky, even if you’re just sitting at your office desk.
WithMoji’s Customizable GIFs
After customizing your personal avatar in the WithMoji app, you can give every message the perfect Halloween GIF or emoji. We recently updated with a bunch of new Halloween-themed options. And the coolest part: Many of the graphics and GIFs incorporate your avatar, so the images you share are 100% unique to you.