Zepeto is the latest product from South Korea's Snow Corporation (whose parent company Naver also owns the Snapchat-like app Snow and the popular Asian messaging app Line), and it has become an overnight sensation in China this December. Zepeto lets you customize avatars with different virtual outfits, hairstyles, down to the user's shape of freckles, keeping the app's users infinitely entertained.
The main thing that distinguishes Zepeto from the avatar builders of yesterday is that it uses a facial recognition tool compatible with iOS to automatically render your face into a virtual 3D avatar (which you can then customize.) Zepeto also has a social component built into the app: by sharing a 6-digit personal code, you can "follow" your actual friends.

On December 20, Gucci collaborated with the WeChat influencer Liaobuqi Daily by showing her Zepeto avatar traveling around the globe: from an art museum in Los Angeles to the new Gucci bookstore in New York City, and other locations listed on the brand's travel guide, Gucci Places.
The app also utilizes Photoshop-like features to further blur the boundaries between reality and virtual reality. Users can put their avatars into real background photos or substitute their actual heads in photographs with their avatar heads (a slightly creepy yet fun feature). Because of these innovations, many app users have become inspired to post their own fashion shoots where they dress in beloved brands.

For brands, an even more interesting application of Zepeto could involve its potential for user-generated content. On Instagram, tons of users have already created their own Zepeto-styled fashion posts, and they're forming communities around popular hashtags that publicize their favorite brands like #Zepetochanel (307 posts) and #Zepetogucci (193 posts). Meanwhile, the social feature "Discover tab" on Zepeto can amplify a brand's message since users can virtually "meet up with" other Zepeto characters and initiate a chat, play games, or take virtual selfies together.

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