Did You Know IMVU is Translated into 13 Different Native Languages?

Translating (AKA “localizing”) a product and community as large as IMVU is a big deal and a complicated process.  To help bring IMVU to as many users as possible, IMVU relies on a system that combines both professional translators and crowdsourcing tools.  The result is that IMVU not only ‘speaks your language’ but also makes it easy for our users to make friends from around the world!

For those of you who ‘localize’ for a living, IMVU will be attending the 2014 TAUS Worldwide Translation Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia on October 27 & 28, and speaking on the impact and value of localizing for our customers. Look us up if you’re attending!

 

Taus Conference 2014

IMVU’s Daily Outfit Challenge – Creative, Expressive, Fun!

By Katiemarie – Online Community Engagement Manager

IMVU is all about creativity and self-expression. As IMVU’s Community Manager, I love to see our community share their individual sense of style and artistry through our popular feature: the Daily Outfit Challenge.

IMVU’s Daily Outfit Challenge features outfits put together by our fashionistas and voted on by fellow community members. Each day a brand new theme is available and participants go shopping in our vast virtual goods catalog for clothing and accessories that match the theme. They put together creative outfits that cleverly showcase them in photos before submitting the image and the outfit for community review. Then, it’s all up to our community members to vote them up or down to select the daily challenge winners! Fashion savvy users who win multiple challenges proudly grab a spot on the leader board and receive prizes.

Daily Outfit Challenge (DOC) themes are chosen based on community suggestions and ideas from our own team members. The themes often coordinate with seasons and ongoing IMVU community events.

Our more popular DOC themes tend to have ties to real-life holidays and events. Summer vacations and urban fashion also garner a lot of interest. And the sheer diversity of our IMVU comunity means highly creative ensembles!

The Daily Outfit Challenge is a quick way to explore fashion and product trends among IMVU creators, and is a great source of inspiration for both our community and IMVU’s own creative teams. Coming up with new themes and reviewing the DOC participants’ creations are some of my favorite parts of my job. I love seeing how our community uses the IMVU technology and catalog to express themselves!

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IMVU Adds Live Chat Support For VIP Customers

IMVU is excited to announce another exclusive benefit to being VIP among our community. Expedited support has always been available as a perk to this elite group. In order to further enhance the premium VIP club experience, we have been testing a new way to offer instant support for the past few months. As a result, our treasured VIPs can now chat LIVE with IMVU Customer Support team between 6 am and 6 pm Pacific Time every day. All they have to do is visit our Help Center - accessible via our website and 3D Chat client – and click the Live Chat button available at the top. It takes barely a few seconds before our VIPs can start talking to one of our knowledgeable  Customer Support representatives via chat.

The chat communication is convenient and quite similar to any other Instant Messaging services that our customers are familiar with. They can easily attach and send files if needed during the chat conversations. When our VIPs have obtained all the help they need – in a speedy and convenient manner – they can simply close the session and go back to enjoying IMVU. The chat logs are automatically saved for easy access for future reference, and an email is sent to the customer with a link to that chat log. We also want our customers to tell us about their Live Chat experience and we will be doing so via short surveys sent to all the happy customers who have benefited from the Live Chat support experience.

So far, our VIP members love this service, based on the feedback we have received on our customer satisfaction surveys. They love getting answers to their questions or concerns in minutes instead of hours or even days with multiple back and forth messages involving help tickets. IMVU appreciates its customers and is delighted to have added this perk to its VIP club members.

The Technology Behind IMVU: Web Services and REST

Interested in some advanced-level reading that discusses engineering and web technology like REST, web services APIs, and the internet scale issues behind their implementation?

At IMVU’s engineering blog, senior staff engineer Bill Welden discusses the technology behind our web services, which deliver the vast amount of assets and information needed to allow our customers to connect with each other, in real time, in the IMVU experience.

First in a series.

 

IMVU Turns September Into GIFTEMBER!

End of summer fun, back to school routines, and seemingly still too far away holiday season can bring one down during September. This year, IMVU’s team of product managers and engineers decided to make September a month to remember for its community members! A cross-functional brainstorming and planning session shaped into a new project – GIFTEMBER! -a 30-day celebration full of community events, contests, exclusive promotions, and of course gifts. Two fast-paced and intense weeks of design, coding, and testing work made this a reality on September 1st!

Its been barely a week and the fun is just getting started! IMVU customers have already enjoyed log in gifts, discounts in the Credit store, and a wildly popular Back To School themed party inside multiple 3D chat rooms. The highlight of the month is multiple day of our new “Give a Gift & Get a Gift” feature, where two sets of products have been created so that our customers can choose one friend to give that day’s free gift and in return get a free gift for themselves. Doing so on all days will complete their collections – a beach resort and a space club!

There are many more days remaining in the month and our customers have been invited to join us every day – those who do have an extra-special surprise in waiting for them on September 30th.

Here’s to Giftember!

Hack Nights & Hack Weeks = Happy IMVUers & Happy Customers

  • Food, drinks, music, and fun?
  • Bunch of engineers and non-engineers huddled together late into the night?
  • Everyone collaborating and working on something that they are passionate about – but not necessarily part of their ongoing planned project work?

Yes, yes and yes!

Must be another “mini” hack night at IMVU. There was one that took place just a few days ago as captured in these photos.

Hack nights, weekends and hack weeks are a routine and an integral part of IMVU’s work culture. They can involve several folks across multiple teams or a smaller group of individuals coming together to develop a specific idea. However, they are ALWAYS fun, productive and often result in customer-facing features such as Badge Canvases,  custom lists for closets, and Shop Together to name just a few.

Of course, “hack weeks and hack nights” have become a staple of the Silicon Valley start-up company culture. What makes the IMVU ones different is the participation from non-coders including executives, designers, marketers, customer service representatives and more.

Projects worked on during these self-organized hacking sessions can be strategic, technical, creative, or quite forward-thinking and visionary. They may end up in a customer-facing change the very next day, continued on as a regular project for a team,  or get filed under the “what happens in a hack night, stays in a hack night” category!

People at IMVU love these hack sessions as they give all of us an opportunity to work on ideas that we feel can benefit our customers – internal or external. It is also an opportunity for people who are not part of the same team to collaborate and work together. People enjoy taking a break from their longer-running projects to work on something different that they personally believe in.

Often though it is our customers that benefit the most – from bug fixes and removal of nagging hurdles in the path of full enjoyment of IMVU, to features and changes that are requested by them.

Let the hacking (the good kind) continue!

 

IMVU Summer Blood Drive

One of the “perks” IMVU employees get to enjoy is a regularly scheduled blood drive right in our parking lots. A couple days ago, we at IMVU had a chance to donate blood during our Summer Blood Drive. Donating blood is a worthy cause in itself and thanks to employers like IMVU it is easy to do when those well-equipped blood mobiles come to us right here to our offices.

IMVU partners with the Stanford School of Medicine Blood Center, so we can ‘get on the bus’ to donate for a good cause.

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Did you know that most people who are at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in good health are eligible to donate? Find out more by visiting national resources like the Red Cross or your local blood bank.

IMVU’s CEO Accepts The Ice Bucket Challenge

IMVU’s CEO – Brett Durrett – joined the Ice Bucket Challenge (#IceBucketChallenge) phenomenon ( that has gone viral – and making a big splash in raising awareness about ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Today, right in front of our offices here in Mountain View, CA, Brett got a bucket with 42 lbs worth of ice (plus water) dumped on him. Brett not only accepted the challenge but also donated to this very worthy cause. He has now challenged Eric Ries, Shawn Carolan and Tom Ball to do the same within the next 24 hours.

A picture (or in this case a video) is worth a 1000 words so here you go:

Take on the challenge, raise awareness and donate at: http://www.alsa.org/

UPDATE: By popular demand from our community members who wanted the same IMVU shirt that Brett was sporting in this video, we have now made virtual versions available! All proceeds from their sales will go to ALS organization. Get more details here.

 

 

 

 

Mobile Payments from Over 80 Countries

Our customers love IMVU because they get to meet people from around the world and make connections. The “from around the world” is literally 100s of countries and our global community continues to grow every day. We look for ways to support our international customers including offering them multiple ways to purchase Credits and other services from us to they can enjoy their IMVU experience fully. The ever-popular mobile phones offer an easy way for customers to make payments while on the go and from anywhere in the world as long as they have a phone.

We have been offering SMS and home phone payments to our customers for many years and. keep working with our partners to expand our reach. In February alone, we added 10 new countries to our list including Kuwait, Dominican Republic, Chile, Kosovo, Costa Rica and Morocco.

Want to know which countries are supported for phone payments? Just visit the phone purchase page and check out the complete list of countries as well as the Credit packages available for each country.