South Korean operator SK Telecom has simultaneously launched its metaverse platform called ‘ifland’ in 49 countries and regions across the world. With the global launch of ifland, SK Telecom plans to use K-pop content, develop content with overseas partners, and expand communication features to develop ifland into a global social metaverse platform. 

The global version of ifland supports English, Chinese (Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese) and Japanese, and is available for both Android and iOS smartphone users. The existing ifland app will be upgraded to the new global version. For instance, the app will automatically activate in the Korean mode when accessed from Korea, and the global mode when accessed from overseas countries. 

SK Telecom’s ifland platform in now live in Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Deutschland, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya,  Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Rwanda, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand,  the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam. 

Ifland platform details 

SK Telecom has globally launched its ifland platform under the slogan ‘The New Way of Socializing’. SK Telecom plans to expand ifland’s global reach through partnerships with major telecommunications companies in each continent. The company is already working with e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and Singtel in South East Asia. 

On 18 November, SK Telecom signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese operator NTT Docomo, to cooperate in areas of content, technology and service to develop their metaverse services. Partnership discussions with other telecommunications companies are also underway, SK Telecom added. 

Together with its overseas partners, SK Telecom plans to develop specialized features tailored to each different region. They will also promote various metaverse-related events and business cooperation, including joint production of popular local content. The Korean operator also seeks to offer content targeting the “MZ” generation (Millennials and Generation Z) through partnerships with diverse players, including overseas universities and international brands.

Earlier this month, SK Telecom signed an agreement with Thailand’s Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University (BSRU) and Korea’s Dong-ah Institute of Media and Arts (DIMA) – which is providing a variety of programs including ‘Teen Teen Audition’ in ifland since the beginning of this year –  to create a global metaverse campus. SK Telecom will support BSRU and DIMA to overcome the limitations stemming from the physical distance between the two schools through ifland. 

In addition, the company is working with Birger Christensen, a Copenhagen-based fashion company, to launch digital skins for avatars in ifland within this year to help the MZ generation express themselves. 

SK Telecom updates ifland features 

SK Telecom also reports it has updated key features of ifland. The company opened a global lounge within ifland to help those new to the metaverse to experience the world with greater ease, and introduced avatars of many different colors. 

To support communication between hosts and participants of gatherings in ifland, SK Telecom applied features such as ‘one-on-one direct messaging’ and ‘3D speech bubble.’ A ‘Live voting’ feature was also introduced to check the opinions of participants in real time, and the ‘ifme motion sharing’ feature was adopted to apply the user’s facial expressions to his/her avatar. 

To celebrate the global launch of ifland, SKT will showcase live K-pop content every week. Original metaverse K-pop content titled “The Fan Live Talkon” will target K-pop fans overseas, with over 50 percent of content provided in English. Every week, ifland will offer live content related to K-pop – e.g. auditions for K-pop trainees and nurturing of K-pop idols – for global fans, the operator added. 

This year, through ifland’s SNS account, SK Telecom plans to hold events to give out diverse artists’ goods and gifts to overseas users who participate in the meet-ups of K-pop content. 

The operator reports that its ifland platform has surpassed 12.8 million cumulative users in October, which represents a 4-fold increase compared to 3 million at the beginning of this year.

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