IMVU: 3D Instant Messaging

January 27th, 2007 at 12:00 am
 


Instant messaging has always been the epitome of communication at our fingertips. Since the first network chats in command lines, like Net Send, instant messaging has come a long way refining its features starting with mIRC, ICQ and then the revolutionary AIM and YahooMessenger which are now the leaders and standards of what an Instant Messenger (IM) should be.

A lot of smaller start-ups have been inspired to walk in the shadow of IM giants. All have their gimmicks to sway people to use their service and for this review, checking out a very interesting and amazing IM with uber cool avatars!

Actually, calling IMVU an Instant Messenger is actually an understatement. It’s more of a virtual world where users can dress up their avatars and lay on the beach while chatting with another user. It’s the avatars that give this IM pizzaz. Avatars can be customized with options from head to feet. There are set costumes, individual hairstyles, eye shapes, eye colors, skin tones, shirts, pants, shorts, shoes, accessories, backdrops, pets and everything else. Although this isn’t all for free. Upon registration, each users is given 1000 credits to exchange for different items and customize their avatar. When the 1000 credits run out, that’s when IMVU generates revenue. Users will have to buy credits with cash, credit card, or SMS.

The avatars and virtual worlds look great. IMVU was developed by the founder of There.com, Will Harvey, who is a buff for 3D virtual world (you’ll know what I mean if you tried There.com). The IM client needs to be installed on a Windows PC to begin chatting. If you still don’t have any friends using IMVU you could always make new ones through their chat rooms.

Moreover, finding friends on IMVU would also be a lot easier because aside from getting a cool avatar, you also get an account it the IMVU social network which looks and works a lot like Myspace.

All in all, I think IMVU is more of a toy than a serious IM client. the interface is great but not everything there is necessary, especially for business purposes. The avatars are cool but, they take a lot of space, on the screen on memory and on bandwidth. Personally, IMVU is a great entertainment application, nothing more.