Okay, let’s be real, if you’ve been scrolling through your Instagram stories recently, you might have noticed that many of your friends have been posting screenshots of their own avatars from this new app called ‘Bondee’. At times, you’ll come across snapshots of their own virtual rooms and some do share their QR code or user ID, requesting for their followers to follow them on the app itself. But what is it really? Is it another game of Sims, Roblox, Habbo Hotel, or Animal Crossing?
It’s 2023 and we’ve put the pandemic lockdown behind us, but why is everyone on Instagram hopping onto this new trend and is this a new way of communicating with one another?
For those who have yet to jump on the bandwagon, Bondee is basically a new social networking app that was launched by Singapore-based tech firm, Metadream. The draw? On this app, users can customise the way they look, and interact with one another through the meta-universe environment. Think of it as living with your friends, but in the virtual world. And for those who have played Animal Crossing, you’ll find this concept pretty familiar because you can also virtually visit your neighbours (AKA your friends) on the app.
Aside from chatting with their friends, users can also participate in virtual activities such as camping, swinging, dancing and more. It’s customisable and people have compared it to other games like Habbo Hotel and Club Penguin. Ah, the nostalgia.
After having acquired the intellectual property rights from the app True.ly in May last year, Metadream has since given the app a fresh new makeover, which has since proven to be working in its favour given the positive response it has received from the online community.
Within a week after its launch on January 17, the new social networking app has topped the charts in various app stores in multiple countries and is still ranked #1 in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.
Feeling the FOMO? You’re not alone. To start using the app, you’ll first have to download it from the App Store or Google Play. After doing so, you will have to register your account with your mobile number and a password, before you can start customising your avatar.
Now, what we love most about this app is that it offers an extensive range of cosmetic options for you to choose from. You can customise your facial expressions, clothing, accessories, makeup, you name it.
Once you’re done customising your character, you should probably start inviting and adding your friends because there’s nothing much you can do in Bondee without them. To do so, you can either add them with their usernames or scan the QR codes that they’ve shared on their Instagram stories. For now, the Bondee app allows you to add up to 50 friends.
After you’ve added your friends to the app, you can start to chat and interact with them. Some of these actions include sending texts and emojis, and you can even fiddle around with the options to interact with them and their rooms.
Alternatively, there is also the option to use the sailing function to venture out into the digital realm, of which you can meet with random users on Bondee that you can befriend. If you’re lucky, you can also find random notes floating in the “open sea” and find some exclusive prizes, which include some new gear that you can add to your ever-growing collection.
Customising your room is pretty simple. Within the app, you can browse through the wide range of furniture and accessories and place them in your room accordingly. What’s unique about this feature is that you can also upload your own images to use them as posters on your wall.
The only downside about the room feature however is that it’s pretty small so you have to really work with the space that’s given to you.
Based on personal experience, I genuinely feel that Bondee is an app that’s worth downloading only if you enjoy games like Animal Crossing or Habbo Hotel. Honestly, the main draw of this app is its customisability which allows users to personalise their own avatar and it offers another platform for them to interact with other users. But when it comes to longevity and the hype surrounding the game? Well, it’s pretty uncertain, but it may (or may not be) an app that everyone will be talking about in a month’s time.