News that SoftBank is pouring $150 million into a yet-to-close Series B for South Korean social media platform Zepeto is a big vote of confidence for the burgeoning metaverse player. So far, Zepeto has focused on the quality of its avatars. It hasn’t spent much time building more immersive and deeply interactive experiences—but it’s not clear whether it needs to.
Zepeto has started to excel as a platform where users (about 70% of them women, according to its main backer, South Korea’s Naver Corp.) want to invest time and money in the appearances of their avatars. Should Zepeto try and keep those users on its platform with engaging content, or to embrace the open-ended nature of the metaverse by letting people take their Zepeto avatars to other platforms that specialize in games and experiences, but not fashion?