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Monday, June 20, 2011


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Vecky Burdam

still ... IMVU sucks. It's a bit like comparing the Oscars to the Palme d'Or. Yes, Oscar winning movies always will have the larger audience, but Palme d'Or winning movies write film history.
Nowhere else in the whole internet you can find such a creative pool of people than in SL. And i still believe LL should more concentrate on providing the means necessary to establish itself as this creative niche, rather than going on a growth driven mass audience pathway.
Maybe a bit like Apple; everybody laughed at this little cute company doing their weird creative stuff ... and it took a bit longer but creativity prevailed over mass-implementation.

Adeon Writer

Can you walk around freely in it yet?

Ciaran Laval

IMVU and Habbo are big on adsense, I see them often on my own site, the only way I can push SL adverts is by using their affiliate advertising via Link Share and LL don't even make that a widely known advertising tool to their users.

DBDigital Epsilon

With the recent comments about IMVU I did some checking. It is a simple chat room system with 3d graphics "tacked on". Sure you can customize your avatar, and buy furniture but it is not a "virtual world". I would call it a "Virtual Chat Room".

Everything is "rooms based" in IMVU, and you can't even walk around in said rooms. You can only "hop" or go to specific animation points. Something like if you were right click and sitting from one chair to another in SL. Yes you can make a room look like it is outside (only if you are listed as a creator or buy such a room from another), but again the system is very simple in comparison to SL.

I would suggest the reason why IMVU has done well is two fold. First they may have better communications with their user base (I do not know this for a fact since I have not tried to contact the administration), and secondly (and importantly) it is very very simple. There is little to confuse people with. If you look at the most popular games online they are also extremely simple (farmville for example).

SL is a very powerful platform, but sadly to many that power and flexibility is just to confusing to them. They do not understand SL as it is totally different than anything else. But a simple chat room with 3d graphics, they can understand that much easier.

What needs to be done is better education and a system to teach people better as they enter the world. Right now most Newbies do not know anything upon landing at many locations. They simply use the destinations at the bottom of their screen and ignore any tutorial system. IMUV has a decent teaching system and does rewards for going through it (giving credits). I think LL would have better results if they built in a system that upon going through the tutorial properly they would get a reward. Of course the difficult part is how do they create such a system where a person can't create thousands of accounts just to get the reward. Perhaps preventing the reward from being transferred might work. Perhaps even a special credit on Marketplace that could not be transferred to anyone else.

Another example that better education is needed: You find Newbies over 90 days old in the same avatar! I doubt they have even found their way out of Basic mode yet. And in Basic mode you can't access inventory, not even to use a landmark someone gave you (or one took themselves, unless LL has changed that in the latest version).

Harper Beresford

I want to know how much money IMVU is really making. They have made some fantastic marketing moves (including selling credits on those little gift cards you can get at Walgreens) but after having tried it out, I am skeptical about the volume of content purchase (which seems to be their income generator along with these odd VIP packages). All the avatars look like sleazy Bratz dolls. Yuck.

Ann Otoole InSL

@GHarper - IMVU should surpass Linden Lab for revenue this year. If you do some homework then you will find the numbers.

Actual marketing helps.

Hamlet Au

I talk revenue numbers at the link, click it! :)

SL gets about $80M a year, IMVU gets $40M (but is profitable.) When SL moves away from its land model in a year or two, the revenue base will probably look something like that.

Ann Otoole InSL

IMVU revenue has been doubling annually. Have they released 2011 numbers yet? If they are on track they already meet or beat LL.

Marketing works.

Meanwhile LL's marketing person just gave the shortest and least spirited keynote in SL Birthday history. Makes perfect sense to me.


You're right, it's nothing like Second Life. Success? I think so.

Stone Semyorka

Why exactly is that LL does so pitifully little to market SL? Who can't see the need for a much more aggressive advertising and PR campaign? Eight years later, who is holding back on getting the word out?

Arcadia Codesmith

IMVU ads feature hypersexualized avatars in suggestive entanglements. Further investigation reveals that it's all a tease; actual knocking of boots is prohibited with a fortress of blue laws that would make a Puritan feel constrained.

That false and misleading advertising is THE ONLY reason that IMVU, a technically inferior product in every regard, has any presence in the market at all.

Sex sells... even if (or especially if) you never quite deliver what you're selling.

SL's been picking it up in the advertising department, but it's still pretty tepid stuff. Some good old-fashioned bodice ripping would pull the IMVU crowd.

IF we really want them...

foneco zuzu

Again Arcadia you hit the nail!
But, Hellas this a puritan Usa blog, so what can any say here that makes sense?
Comparing Imvu with Sl is is so non sense, so gratuit?
If any can be compared to Sl is the Sims!
And the sucess of the Sims, content creator, explict sex (mods for that exist as thousands, full privacy!

Flashing Merlin

If IMVU has 10 million members, roughly 10 times SL, why is it that the number of people shown as being online in IMVU was only about twice the number online in SL when I compared the two?

I'd say because SL is more interesting, so more people may have joined IMVU (as I just did), but less of them will stay interested, and keep going back to spend time there (just as I won't).

I agree that I see many more IMVU ads than SL ads, which may alone account for the 10 million members. As a SL strategy, that makes perfect sense: solve the problems in SL first, then once it's working well, spend the money for more ads.

Penny Patton

Funny thing, most IMVU users I've talked to are convinced, completely and utterly, that IMVU has better graphics than SL.

Crazy? Maybe not. SL still struggles in an uphill battle against Linden Lab of all things. There's a lot of very simple changes LL could put in place, none of which at all involves restricting creative freedom of its users, which would put a better face forward to the world, and nurture better looking, and more engaging, content from its users.

Why is this important? Image is 90% of marketing. If LL can improve SL's visual presentation they can generate greater interest and that would also mean a boost to new user retention.

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