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Hyperconnect, Key to social platform success: reflecting the ‘user voice’

- From tailored engagement features to high standards of community safety — proactively reflecting the needs of “MZ” generation users Social platforms that are popular among the so-called “MZ” generations (Millennials and Generation Z combined) seem to share a common practice: they listen to their users and structure products according to direct feedback. As the protagonists in a new digital era, MZ users are shaping social services through their demands for live, interactive content against a safe and friendly community backdrop. ■ Hakuna Live enables diverse experiences and ensures safe communities Hakuna Live, the second hit project launched by Seoul-based video and AI technology company Hyperconnect, takes the traditional live streaming concept — where one “mega host” broadcasts to many — and enhances it via multi-way communication modes. Dubbed ‘social live streaming’, Hakuna helps every user find his or her place in the social universe — from light chat to counseling, quiz shows, rap battles, casual games and more. As entertainment consumption continues its shift online in the era of COVID-19, Hakuna Live is rapidly growing by introducing MZ-targeted features. For example, Hakuna’s “Guest Mode” allows up to four to co-broadcast simultaneously through a split screen layout, enabling a diverse playground-like experience; Augmented Reality (AR) Avatar mode allows streamers and guests to express themselves with fun, facial data-based characters. This year, Hakuna expects to expand upon its Guest Mode with “Group Chat Live’, allowing up to six people to chat together, further blurring the traditional lines between entertainer and entertained Critically, Hakuna Live is acutely focused on maintaining a safe online community and has spared no expense in building advanced artificial intelligence-powered monitoring systems that can automatically detect and report and variety of unwanted content. Hyperconnect also assembled a Community Safety Supervision Committee in November 2020, consisting of former partners from reputable law firms and former judges. Hakuna Live is currently serviced in 10 countries — including Japan, Turkey, India, North America, and Taiwan — and is planning to expand its MZ-focused launch even further this year. ■ After the success of ‘Snow', Naver’s ‘ZEPETO’ gains ground through a user-first focus The augmented reality avatar platform ZEPETO, operated by Naver Z, now counts over 180 million amongst its global subscriber base — in just two years after its launch. ZEPETO is a product squarely aimed at the MZ users with its 3D avatar environment that uses the latest in facial recognition and AR technology. ZEPETO has also actively catered towards MZ users through its partnerships with generation-relevant content, reportedly earning over 12 billion won from its partnership with Big Hit Entertainment and YG Entertainment and 5 billion won from its partnership with JYP. ZEPETO’s success follows the positive feedback that the Naver-owned ‘Snow’ received from users after adding augmented reality capabilities to its camera app. ■ Facebook’s shift towards “followers” over “likes” To keep up with the needs and feedback of its younger users, Facebook too recently announced plans for a meaningful overhaul to its platform. For example, on pages used by public figures, the 'Like' function — which has been the target of much negative press — has been dropped in favor of focusing on 'follower' count. This change, which positions Facebook as something closer to YouTube and Instagram, is intended give creators a firmer indication of their fan base Facebook had reportedly tested the deletion of ‘Like’ in a number of markets and ultimately made the determination based on user feedback. Facebook will also introduce a dedicated news feed and Q&A function for active exchanges between friends, colleagues, and fans — a step towards deepening “communication” between users, which is highly valued by MZ generations.

Hyperconnect : real-time video AI monitoring system can now auto-block live video content within 0.006 seconds

- Serverless “on-device” artificial intelligence technology pre-filters content at lightning-fast-speeds - Substantial continued investment in user community health and safety According to a representative from Hyperconnect, a recent update enables the company’s real-time video artificial intelligence (AI) monitoring system to pre-block and filter content within 0.006 seconds. Hyperconnect, the Seoul-based AI and video technology company behind Azar and Hakuna Live, has been focused on developing deep learning-based AI monitoring systems for several years. Hyperconnect developed the initial iteration of its AI monitoring system in 2017 — a global-first system capable of filtering content in a live video environment without data ever hitting the server. Dubbed “on-device artificial intelligence”, Hyperconnect’s AI engine drives powerful in-app capabilities directly on a user's device where the app is installed. Since live video can be monitored — and users protected — without data leaving the device, user privacy is preserved. Since then, Hyperconnect has continued to invest aggressively in improving monitoring performance. Depending on mobile device specification, in less than one-tenth of one second — as fast as 0.004 seconds on an iPhone XR and 0.006 seconds for Galaxy S10 devices — content that violates user guidelines in can be automatically concealed from other users. "We have reinforced user protection with the world's best AI monitoring technology, which, along with hundreds of monitoring personnel, is able to block inappropriate content in 0.006 seconds or less for Galaxy S10 users," according to HyunTaek “Eddie” Yong, Hyperconnect's Chief Technology Officer. “Hyperconnect will continue to channel company-wide resources into the development of technologies and best practices that protect users and create healthy user environments.” Recently, Hyperconnect’s AI monitoring system was deployed to its newest social app products: Slide, a social discovery dating app launched in the North American and German markets, and 'Hakuna Live', a social live streaming service available in several markets globally. Hyperconnect’s advanced monitoring technology will also be packaged into the upcoming SDK from Hyperconnect Enterprise, enabling corporate clients globally to create safe and fun environments within various types of live, video services.

eCommerce leader Coupang Dives into Video Streaming with Launch of Coupang Play

Coupang, one of Asia’s largest eCommerce companies, added video streaming as its latest offering to WOW members with the launch of Coupang Play. At no additional cost, subscribers to Coupang’s premium membership service will now be able to enjoy unlimited video streaming on top of existing benefits such as Rocket Fresh groceries, free shipping and returns, same-day delivery, and Dawn Delivery, which enables customers placing orders as late as midnight to receive their deliveries by 7 AM the next day. Currently, Coupang Play is available for Android OS users, and the company expects to release the iOS version in early January next year. The service will also be expanded next year to include tablet devices, smart TVs, and PCs. Coupang Play’s initial selection includes a wide range of content, from Hollywood movies such as the “Spider-Man” series and “Bombshell,” to popular Korean variety shows such as “Delicious Guys” and “My Lovely Family.” Coupang Play also features content such as documentaries, educational videos, and animations. In addition, the company plans to release exclusive streaming content such as CNN 10 and the Showtime series “Your Honor” starring Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, which will only be available for streaming in Korea on Coupang Play. “Coupang continuously strives to improve its customers’ lives by introducing and expanding exciting new services,” said Stephen Kim, the head of Coupang Play. We are eager to bring content such as Coupang Play Originals to expand our offerings and make this new service even more enjoyable and convenient for our customers.” To use Coupang Play, WOW members can simply download the app and link it to the main Coupang app to enjoy unlimited video streaming immediately without a separate sign-up process. Up to five profiles can be created on one account so that family members can search for content and receive recommendations based on their personal preferences. In addition, Coupang Play includes parental control functions such as a PIN lock, as well as a “Kids’ Mode” to limit access to certain content and allow children to safely watch family-friendly content in one place. [Coupang Play at Google Play] WOW members will also be able to download most of the content on Coupang Play for convenient viewing anywhere, anytime, making it ideal for situations such as long-distance travel and in locations with poor internet connection.   WOW is Coupang’s premium membership service that provides customers benefits such as Rocket Delivery, which guarantees delivery by the next day. For a small monthly fee, WOW members receive free shipping on all Rocket Delivery products regardless of price, faster shipping of Rocket Fresh products and other items through Dawn Delivery, and other exclusive benefits such as special discounts and free returns within 30 days. ■ About Coupang, from Wikipedia Coupang is a South Korean e-commerce company founded in 2010. The largest online retailer in South Korea, Coupang's annual revenue exceeds US$5.9 billion. The company's Rocket Delivery network provides same-day or next-day delivery of more than five million unique items. Coupang claims that 99.6 percent of its orders are delivered within 24 hours. Coupang is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, in the Songpa-gu District. Coupang also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Mountain View, and Seattle. Coupang was founded by Bom Kim in 2010. A student of Harvard University, Kim started to study for his MBA at Harvard Business School but dropped out after six months into the program. In November 2018, Coupang received a US$2 billion investment from SoftBank. Other major investors in Coupang include BlackRock and Fidelity. In July 2020, Coupang acquired assets of Singaporean streaming service HOOQ.In November 2018, Coupang received a US$2 billion investment from SoftBank. Other major investors in Coupang include BlackRock and Fidelity. In July 2020, Coupang acquired assets of Singaporean streaming service HOOQ. [USA Homepage]