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Kippo opened its dating and social community for gamers in September of 2019. And now it is pivoting to turn its experience into a metaverse application.
With Kippo 2.0, players can still continue with the dating part. But they can also now immerse themselves in building out a home and meeting with other people in the social spaces inside the app.
Kippo hopes this immersive app will set itself apart from other social apps on the market, said Kippo CEO David Park, in an interview with GamesBeat. The metaverse is the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
“Every year, we want to 10X Kippo, and we said this before all the metaverse stuff started floating around the internet,” Park said. “One day, I expect Kippo to be like an immersive world like a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), where you have your avatar interacting with people through your avatars.”
He added, “This is an environment that gamers understand. They don’t call it the metaverse. It is called video games. It was an idea we had for a long time and we started building it early this year.”
Kippo has grown to 180,000 monthly active users. About 30% of Kippo users utilize the app for meeting friends, which is a high percentage compared to other dating apps on the market. With that statistic, Kippo wanted to create an experience that caters to a platonic or romantic relationship, and it’s doing so by diving into user-generated content.
About 70% of its users are there specifically for dating/finding a partner. Now the user interface will be completely different as the home screen will be the user’s home, which the user can design and customize to their liking. Also, each user can create their own avatar, which promotes self-expression.
“We’re creating a virtual existence for a user so that they can interact more organically and share experiences as they create these worlds,” Park said.
Each avatar can interact with other users. There is a new arcade that is a kind of virtual amusement park, where avatars can interact and play games together for a first date or many dates, instead of feeling the awkward pressure of meeting in person.
There are also “dope spaces,” or semi-private virtual spaces open to friends and friends of friends.
Matching, of course, will still live within the Kippo 2.0 update but will be better than ever with an upgraded algorithm and a new bot detection AI system.
Premium options start at $15, and all in-app purchases are dedicated to cosmetics.
Overall, Park believes that dating should be fun, and traditional dating apps are not catering to that. Kippo 2.0 is all about creating a fun, immersive experience for users to interact when/how they want.
Kippo 2.0 will be available via App Store and Google Play in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, as well as some part of Asia: Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore.
Park started Kippo in 2019 with Cheeyoon Lee and Sean Suyeda, and it is backed by Jason Calacanis at Launch and former senior executives from Tinder.
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