Interest in creating social experiences within virtual reality (VR) has soared recently. Many companies and developers have created products designed to create social experiences within VR, and now the 3D, avatar-based social network IMVU may be preparing to enter the social VR space thanks to its recent acquisition.
IMVU has acquired StayUp, a social VR company led by founder and CEO Gary Chevsky. The acquisition is said to merge the IMVU’s capabilities with avatar design and user-generated content with StayUp’s technology and immersion in VR.
IMVU CEO Daren Tsui has indicated that the intended mission of IMVU is to spread friendship in a better way that can be offered by other social media platforms. IMVU users can create a customisable avatar, which lets users interact with a greater sense of presence.
“StayUp accelerates our roadmap to a cross-platform implementation of an immersive avatar-based social network,” says IMVU CEO Daren Tsui. “With IMVU’s 4 million monthly active users and 50 thousand creators, we look forward to growing the concept of social VR in our already vibrant ecosystem.”
The company says that its vision is of a new generation of social networks which facilitate emotional connections by providing shared experiences that go beyond the relatively passive experience of sharing and liking. IMVU says that its aim to to capture the imagination of users by making the social media experience more immersive and fun, thus strengthening relationships.
“What started as a vision of delivering the most immersive real-time communication system at StayUp became grander and more achievable the minute we met the IMVU team,” says StayUp Founder Gary Chevsky. “Millions of users will have an opportunity to be together in a social network on any device to create memorable moments through shared experiences, just like real life.”
Chevsky will be staying on as part of the acquisition to act as Advisor to the CEO. For future coverage on IMVU and other immersive social experiences, keep checking back with VRFocus.