May 24, 2024

KT Business

The Business Servicess On for You

About a year and a half after KT launched it, it ended its metaverse product for business-to-busines..

4 min read

No new customers, end of service at the end of April

View of KT Meta Lounge
A view of the meeting using KT’s B2B metaverse service ‘Meta Lounge’. [Photo provided = KT]

About a year and a half after KT launched it, it ended its metaverse product for business-to-business transactions (B2B).

It is interpreted that it was difficult to secure customer companies. Metaverse services operated by other telecommunication companies also seem to be shrinking overall, with user growth slowing down.

According to the telecommunications industry on the 8th, KT has been confirmed to have terminated its metaverse service, “Meta Lounge,” at the end of last month.

Meta Lounge is a B2B metaverse product that KT launched in December 2022. It is a service that produces and provides customized metaverse platforms for companies, local governments, and institutions, and has functions such as automatic generation of minutes using artificial intelligence (AI), real-time translation, and face recognition-based avatar generation.

KT worked hard to create a meta-lounge reference by signing a business agreement with the Global Youth Climate and Environment Challenge (GYCC) of the Carbon Neutral Green Growth Commission at the meta-lounge before the launch, but eventually ended the service without achieving tangible results in securing customers.

This is because KT Enterprise, which provides corporate services, generally stops selling the product if it does not use it because there are no new subscribers in the past year.

However, KT plans to continue operating the metaverse “Giniverse” for business-to-consumer transactions (B2C). Genieverse is a metaverse service enjoyed by ordinary users, but it has not yet been activated with less than 10,000 downloads based on Android.

A KT official said, “For B2C services, we will focus on differentiated services that converge Generative AI around Genieverse, an AI metaverse platform.” By changing the business strategy that was promoting both the B2B platform and the B2C platform, the company intends to stop the B2B service and focus only on the B2C platform.

With major metaverse services closed one by one since last year as the metaverse fever cooled, the carrier’s metaverse service also seems to have failed to avoid this trend.

In the second half of last year, Cyworld’s Cytown, Com2uverse, and Kakao’s great-grandchild company Colorverse ended their metaverse business.

The metaverse service of SK Telecom and LG Uplus is not in a rosy situation either.

In the case of LG Uplus, it operates a university-only metaverse platform called “Uverse” and “Kidstopia” for children, including “Methaslap,” a B2B product similar to KT’s meta lounge.

In the case of Metaslap, beta tests were conducted on various companies such as large companies and startups for a month after its debut in June last year, but it has not been officially released until now, nearly a year later.

LG U+ is preparing to launch its platform by upgrading its platform based on insights obtained through beta testing, but the exact timing is undecided.

Ubus has also established metaverse campuses of about 10 universities, including the opening of a virtual campus dedicated to Yonsei University in July last year, but there have been no new customer cases this year since Yonsei University. An official from LG Uplus explained, “Ubus is conducting additional projects with existing contracted universities, discussing projects, and winning orders with a number of new universities.”

SK Telecom is operating the B2C metaverse platform ‘Efriend’ globally. Although it has been cruising among carrier metaverse platforms with a steady monthly active user (MAU) of 3 to 4 million last year, MAU decreased by about 600,000 in the fourth quarter of last year.

E-FRIEND MAU recorded 3.9 million in the first quarter of last year and 4.2 million in both the second and third quarters, but it grew reversely for the first time in the fourth quarter and fell to 3.61 million. It decreased compared to the fourth quarter of 2022 (3.7 million) in the same period last year.

The telecommunication company plans to create a platform growth momentum by adding Generative AI functions to the existing metaverse service.

SK Telecom said this year that it will combine Generative AI with E-Friend to introduce functions such as AI persona and AI studio, and KT also explained that it will focus on Genieverse after the end of the meta-lounge and release differentiated services using Generative AI.

Entry into the global market is also a keyword. SK Telecom is actively targeting the Southeast Asian market by partnering with Malaysian telecommunications companies, and LG U+ is expanding to North American markets through the English version of Kids Topia.

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