We kicked off 2015 with us committing to renewed focus on the Creator program and our Credit economy. We have plans to strengthen the program with expanded creation opportunities for our current Creators and encourage new Creators to join IMVU . But first, we wanted to provide an update on our efforts to tackle content theft and unfair competition – critical issues as reported by our Creators.
Our Creators love to express their unique artistic styles with the virtual products that make the IMVU experience customizable, engaging and visually rich. Some do this as a hobby and as a means to express their creativity, while others do this to earn part-time or full-time income for themselves. We want to ensure all our hard-working and talented creators have the opportunity to market and sell their products to the general IMVU community and earn real money for their efforts if they choose to do so.
At the start of the year we completed projects that addressed many long-standing requests by our Creators to make their tools and creation processes efficient. Then we focused on ensuring all Creators have the opportunity to earn money for their sales directly from IMVU via the Earn Money program rolled out in April. We had many goals behind this project – an important one being protecting our legitimate Creators by minimizing incentives for committing fraud and product theft. The account and catalog review processes we put in place for the cash payout system allows us to identify activities that do not comply with our policies and go against how our catalog functions in terms of unique products, product rankings, and derivation chains. The detailed review process takes time – but rewards honest creators and is punitive for dishonest ones.
We are already seeing positive results. We have removed dozens of Creators from the Earn Money program and often also from the IMVU Creator program after the review process revealed they were acting in a way that was not in the best interest of our overall Creator community and Credit economy. This means honest Creators who work hard to make and sell their unique products have better opportunities to be showcased in our Shop and establish their presence for IMVU customers without unfair competition. As one example we found a group of fraudsters who were colluding to interfere with the intended functioning of our Catalog ranking algorithms. It took a team of IMVU employees many days to unwind, but the reward was well over 100,000,000 Credits that will now instead be channeled into the accounts of legitimate, hard working Creators. We are excited that purchases that were rewarding bad actors will now be benefitting the Creators that are designing original content, playing fair and working to build a better community. We expect more fraudulent Creators to be removed from the system via a combination of action by us upon review and leaving on their own after not getting rewarded for their fraudulent activities.
Status Update – Earn Money Program
In just two months the Earn Money program has allowed our Creators to collectively earn in excess of US $1,400,000 . They are doing so consistently – from the same source i.e. IMVU, at the same rate, and always at the point of sale when their virtual product is purchased by someone.
We are now looking ahead to new creation opportunities for our existing Creators and bringing new Creators to IMVU. We are expanding the possibilities of creation beyond textures, meshes and actions, enabling Creators to build fully interactive experiences. Additionally, we’re also enabling new forms of creation that will generate opportunities for new people to participate, and existing Creators to have new products to engage customers.
I’m super excited and can’t wait to share more as we get closer to shipping! Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.