Art and Exploration, Business in Virtual Worlds, Virtual World Platforms

IMVU Founder Cary Rosenzweig on Avatar-Centricity

IMVU recently opened itself up to the general public after registering 20 million users to its 3D virtual platform.

Worlds in Motion had a chance to interview founder Cary Rosenzweig about the public launch, and he throws around some pretty impressive figures: 20 million users, 2 million items created, and over 100,000 content creators, of whom “dozens have quit their day jobs by developing items for sale in the IMVU catalog.” He speaks to the idea that within IMVU, users are the main content makers and as with SL, are the ones that drive the experience.

But what gives IMVU its competitive edge, and what is driving its growth in user numbers, is its focus on building from the avatar up, as Rosenzweig articulates:

MVU is avatar centric, not land centric. How that manifests itself is a tremendous amount of attention to the avatar itself. Our avatars are the most beautiful and expressive in the world.

The developers of IMVU came from, a virtual world whose focus (at least a few years ago) was on the geographic space in which avatars moved and interacted. When the developers came to IMVU, he says, they “turned that philosophy on its head” and started with avatars as the focus.

As for future plans, IMVU plans on putting some R&D into the interest areas of its users - “anime, goth, vampire fights, all kinds of things” - and is considering advertising, although, says Cary, “we believe that being dependant on advertising is not the right thing to do.”

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