IAC Launches Virtual World Zwinktopia, Seeks Ad Partners

IAC, which has for some time let users create online avatars on its Zwinky Web site, is now expanding the property into a full blown virtual world called Zwinktopia. As part of the launch, the company is seeking partnerships with advertisers to give the world richer details.

IAC Consumer Applications and Portals (CAP), a division of IAC that represents brands including Zwinky, Smiley Central, My Fun Cards, Cursor Mania and Evite, as well as the Excite, iWon and MyWay portals, has created Zwinktopia to empower users who want to be able to do more with their avatars.

“People kept requesting to be able to do more with their Zwinky. People wanted more games and fashion items,” said Scott Garell, CEO of IAC Consumer Applications and Portals.

According to comScore networks, Zwinky.com saw 4.7 million unique users last March, who utilize the site to create avatars to use on other social media sites.

Garell said that the majority of Zwinky users are young women, so in addition to games and social networking available within the virtual world, IAC CAP is actively seeking partnerships with fashion, entertainment, cell phone and personal care advertisers to create branded virtual items that will be for sale in boutiques within Zwinktopia.

“We have a very active and engaged 13- to 30-year-old female audience that is demanding branded merchandize to enhance their Zwinky experience, and we think if we provide that it will be of mutual benefit to the advertisers and the users,” Garell said. “They are asking for Prada and Louis Vuittons and all those brands, and we want to provide that to them.”

IAC CAP created the Zwinktopia world internally, and is promoting its availability through the Zwinky Web site, as well as through television commercials and online direct marketing.

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