We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.
If you are a person with friends (at least virtually), you’ve probably seen this QR code pop up more than a couple times while scrolling Instagram in the past week.
Don’t worry, you haven’t gone back in time to the days of the pandemic when Animal Crossing had us millennials in a chokehold.
Still, as it turns out, even after the world has opened up, we still find comfort in creating virtual worlds.
Like on Bondee, the free virtual avatar social app you’ve been seeing on everybody’s Instagram Stories.
Launched in January 2023, Bondee was created by Singapore-based tech firm Metadream.
Users can chat and interact with each other in its meta-universe environment.
Or as Bondee calls it, “live with your friends” in a “brand new digital world”.
You first start off with making your avatar, which is highly customisable, down to skin tone, hair colour and face shape.
I had a lot of fun choosing from the frankly impressive array of skin colours, facial features (you can even change the size of your nose) and accessories available.
However, I would have liked to see a greater variety of body sizes and shapes, instead of one standard option.
The avatar I eventually designed:
You can get as creative as you want – live out your dreams as a a rock musician, or go full out alien.
Alternatively, be like this guy and take inspiration from real life:
taking bondee too seriously 💀 pic.twitter.com/2PiQCpQYgm
— vico blanco BONDEE BUT PINOY ERA (@vicentejian) January 26, 2023
Or get ideas for your OOTDs:
@shairaluna.tiktok It’s the soda for mee 😂 #bondee ♬ original sound – Shaira Luna
The possibilities are (almost) endless.
After that’s done, you go on to decorating your room with preset furniture, decor and even wallpaper and flooring options.
The rooms are less customisable than your avatar, but there’s still enough variety to make it uniquely yours.
What I liked was the ability to customise my room with posters, which users can upload their own images for.
However, I do think it is quite limiting to just have a room, as the space is a little too small to really flex those creative decorating skills.
At least give us an apartment, Bondee.
Here are some decor ideas from Twitter to inspire you:
spent an hour decorating this basic ass room on bondee when i literally have so much more important things to do 🤭 pic.twitter.com/EriDyJWaOQ
— ♡ (@annemhstp) January 24, 2023
— sola (@heyseia) January 24, 2023
— niki (@bjfuyu) January 23, 2023
This fan of South Korean boyband NCT made full use of the poster feature:
my room irl vs my room in bondee pic.twitter.com/1mBvDJPgxA
— al (@nadoiekki) January 24, 2023
After you deem your room fit for visitors, the app allows you to invite up to 50 friends.
Like every other social media platform, you can then proceed to chat with your friends, share status updates and photos.
Unlike every other social media platform, however, you can then invite them to judge your taste in virtual interior design by showing them your room.
If you want to make new friends on Bondee, you can check out their ship sailing feature.
Explore the virtual open sea on a virtual boat until you meet other sailors, or leave messages in a bottle for other players to find.
If you’re not all that interested in meeting new people, you may also come upon prized exclusive items while sailing, such as clothing or room decorations.
The app currently has limited features, but if their early success is any indication, there is likely more to come.
Some of the clothing and accessories options in the app are labelled “limited free trial”, which may mean that although they are available to use now, they’re likely to become in-app purchases in the future.
This Twitter user clearly enjoys responsibility:
#Bondee, here’s my suggestion: maybe you can add like tamagotchi features to your app (feeding, taking care, plants, etc.). It can help users find daily satisfaction by fulfilling objectives and gives them enough reasons to check out the app frequently.
— Tomasso (@sitomasso) January 22, 2023
While user BurhanPlays thinks there’s a lot more than meets the eye:
Bondee is a metaverse app which will eventually integrate crypto and NFTs.
This isn’t a secret. The app is just very cleverly marketed so that it doesn’t mention all this stuff.
Because Metadream knows words like “metaverse” and “NFT” are radioactive. pic.twitter.com/QWMMZU78XQ
— Burhan (@BurhanPlays) January 26, 2023
Top image via Bondee and @vicentejian/Twitter.
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