Cyworld Packs Up From U.S., Retreats to Korea

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Cyworld, the South Korean social network that launched in the U.S. with a splashy party in 2006 has packed up its bags and left the U.S. market. The social network, backed by SK Telecom, will layoff its entire U.S. staff and will continue to operate the English-language site from South Korea. The service really didn’t get any traction. Its localization efforts were mediocre at best. I bet other smaller marginal social networks meet the same fate.

15 Comments

exapted

Cyworld is extremely popular in mainland China. The funny thing is, the focus of Cyworld in China is maps and location. In Guangzhou, I could even find my building on their sort of cute map, and I could see who was online and nearby. They cover many of the major cities in mainland China. Now That’s Cool!

I created an account in US Cyworld and all I saw was some empty “room” I could edit. I think they should have made a facebook location/map app! They would have been huge.

Om Malik

@ThanhT I am sure it could. They need to start innovating again and from what some of my korean friends have told me — it is beginning to stagnate in terms of keeping things fresh.

Yeti

I’m curious about the comment “localization efforts were mediocre at best”? Seemed their avatars were similar in style to (the successful) Gaia, any thoughts what went wrong?

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