The largest metaverse platform in Asia, Zepeto, continues to ramp up its global aspirations to challenge the big names of the US in the burgeoning metaverse industry. Owned by Naver of the Korean Republic, Zepeto has accumulated over 300 million users over the last five years, with a focus on avatar fashion infused with K-Pop influences.
While Meta has hit the headlines for the multi-billion dollar investments from within the company directed towards its plans for metaverse domination, Zepeto has made up a tremendous amount of ground already. While the headline for the Asia-facing platform is that global expansion is the goal, a much more subtle recent advancement has been the integration of live video, which is proving very popular in online entertainment.
Zepeto seeking the global market and new tech engagements
The biggest name considered to be within the metaverse bracket is Roblox, which is a $50 billion company focused on getting people to create and venture into community-developed worlds and experiences. However, Zepeto has found the glut of its success in the Asia-Pacific region, boasting up to 20 million active monthly users in Japan, China, and the Korean Republic. Importantly, 70 percent of its users are female.
Next for Zepeto looks to be Brazil, Turkey, and other Arab-speaking markets. To help this push from the Asia-Pacific market into the Middle East, Arab language versions are in development. While the US is the main nation for Roblox, making up over 20 percent of its daily active users, Brazil and Turkey also feature in the top five – as do the UK and Russia – but none exceed an eight percent share of its user base.
As such, Brazil and Turkey look to be natural and proven points for the expansion of the Zepeto platform, as does the integration of live-streaming technology. On the Zepeto Support page, the platform wrote on March 23, 2023, that a limited number of users had been permitted to try out the new ZEPETO Live feature, which will eventually expand to more users. This could be the feature that truly helps Zepeto to expand its reach.
Live streaming could be a winner for the metaverse
As it stands, live streaming is popularly applied in its most advanced state through gaming platforms. This isn’t restricted to Twitch, which is quite a passive experience for users beyond simple chat functions. In the realms of live bingo, however, the game being live-streamed by real hosts can be played in real time from the other side of the stream and become interactive as a result.
Timed live games like Double Bubble and Big Getaway Live all use specialized tech to have the game of bingo playable from anywhere in the world. As it’s live, players experience an increased level of immersion on RNG bingo games and all while enjoying the traditional perks of bingo. All that is being tapped into by these kinds of games is exactly what companies like Condense Reality want to bring to the metaverse.
In mid-2022, live-streaming startup Condense Reality raised $4.5 million to develop its tech for the metaverse. Described as being the facilitator of hybrid events between the real and virtual worlds, the company’s main aim is to capture events in 3D and in real-time while streaming them via the cloud to deliver a live experience within the virtual landscape. This is the kind of technology that Zepeto could seek to leverage alongside the live options it’s currently testing.
Zepeto looks to break out from the Asia-Pacific market and push to a global market. If it sticks with its live streaming development, it could have the unique-yet-popular selling point to propel it above US-based offerings.