SOURCE: WeeWorld

May 19, 2008 10:34 ET

WeeWorld Debuts Virtual World

Rapidly Growing Avatar-Based Social Network Gives Fans What They Want: A Way to Interact With Each Other in Real Time in a Virtual Environment

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2008) - WeeWorld, the most popular interactive avatar community and home of the WeeMee, today gives WeeWorld fans a virtual world in which WeeMees can chat and make friends with other WeeMees in real time. The beta version of "World" is available today for free to all registered users at WeeWorld.com.

The World

Consumers are increasingly drawn to virtual world experiences. In fact, industry experts from eMarketer predict that 20 million child and teen Internet users in the United States will visit virtual worlds once a month by 2011.

WeeWorld's virtual environment blends fantasy-world elements with characters and buildings that reflect real-world experiences -- from the futuristic Sky Tower and the underground Club Cavern, to a hang-out called Chillax Station and the undersea-inspired Nautilus Club.

WeeMees can discover and interact in World in a variety of ways:

--  Moving: Users propel their WeeMee throughout World with their mouse or
    arrow keys. To zoom extra fast they click and drag their WeeMee, which
    activates a super-charged slingshot effect.
--  Exploring: Special objects and triggers set off surprise animation
    events.
--  Socializing: Users click on other WeeMees in World to invite them to
    be friends or visit their personalized room.
--  Chatting: Users chat live with their WeeMee friends.
    

Future plans include adding more cities, chat areas, gaming elements and mini-quests where users can track down hidden objects that get access to exclusive assets or prizes.

The Users:

WeeWorld fans asked for this evolution, with typical requests like:

--  "Are you guys working on a world where you can walk around and talk to
    other WeeMees?"
--  "I think you should have things where WeeMees can chat in rooms or
    like you can go and get coffee or something and talk to other WeeMees
    online."
    

"Our users are passionate about their WeeMees and provide very detailed feedback about what they want. Each day we share that feedback with every member of the company so we can respond to their needs. We don't code for months or years and then release a fully baked experience," said Lauren Bigelow, GM and SVP, Marketing, WeeWorld Inc. "Our users wanted a synchronous virtual world where they could meet each other in real time and have more gaming abilities. World was the natural next phase of our business; now we can continue to tweak it based directly on user feedback."

The Evolution of WeeWorld:

WeeWorld's first phase gave users the ability to make customized avatars, called WeeMees, which allowed them to choose features, outfits, accessories and other items that best expressed their personalities and interests. Implementations on partner sites, including AIM, Windows Live Messenger and Skype, drove WeeMees' initial success. Based on those initial partnerships and the growing interest from brands and publishers to use WeeMees on their sites, WeeWorld recently announced the success of its open application programming interface (API) that enables the easy integration of WeeMees into any site to create a more engaging and personalized online experience. With more than 21 million WeeMees created to date, it has become the most widely used portable avatar in the world.

Phase two provided a social networking destination site for users and their WeeMees on WeeWorld.com. Users could become friends with other users and engage in basic social networking activities. In less than 10 months, WeeWorld.com reached 1.1 million unique visitors in the United States and 1.6 million unique visitors worldwide.

By soliciting and listening to user feedback, WeeWorld continually evolves its offering to keep users deeply engaged. World, a visually exciting, interactive, real-time environment for WeeWorld users, is a strategic extension of its social network. WeeWorld continues healthy growth by every measure, including unique visitors, session time and retention rate, as well as strategic partnerships and the support of leading advertisers.

To experience World, go to http://www.weeworld.com and use the World tab or visit World directly at http://www.weeworld.com/world/.

WeeWorld (www.weeworld.com) is the most popular interactive avatar community and a trusted site for dynamic self-expression, creation and communication. Through an expansive palette of features, clothes, accessories, hobbies, etc., WeeWorld users can create their personalized WeeMee avatar, connect with friends, decorate their own visual space, send animated messages, play games and more. More than 21 million WeeMees worldwide are redefining avatar demographics and establishing the WeeMee as the world's most widely used and recognized avatar. WeeMees can be created on many sites including Windows Live Messenger, AIM and Skype, and are portable to all major social networks and blogging sites. WeeWorld has offices in Boston, London and Glasgow, and is funded by Accel Partners (www.accel.com) and Benchmark Capital (www.benchmark.com).

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