To Bondee and Beyond: A look into the meta social media

Meet the new game that’s taking over everyone’s social media timelines, Bondee is the latest metaverse app that lets you build a virtual lounging space where you can interact with friends through virtual avatars.

Developed by Singapore-based tech startup Metadream, Bondee was launched on January 17, with now over five million downloads at PlayStore Since then, Bondee has become one of the most popular apps not only in the Philippines, but also in other Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.


A whole new (virtual) world

It all started because of customization. The main reason Bondee had a successful launch is because of how wide the wardrobe selection and facial features it offers. It’s diverse, not just in the fashion aspect but also in skin-tone colors, and it caters to different tastes. It has some available default styles that take inspiration from the current and trendy clothes of this generation, but it also encourages you to mix and match a look to your own liking. Not only that, the room design is one of the big pulls of the app as you can decorate your own space with their array of fixtures and furniture that encapsulates your own reality, or maybe even your dream room. It’s all up to you. 





However, it’s important to note that the other reason why this app skyrocketed so quickly was because of TikTok. 



@love__ches isn’t it the cutest socializing app?? 🥹🖤🛋️ i love how i can get to meet new friends on this app and create a space that reflects me!! ⛅️ app is called bondee on app store! 🤳 #apprecommendations  #cuteappstoplay #iosapp #3dart #studytok #iphoneapp ♬ cookie – 💔



Another factor on how Bondee captured the attention of both Millennials and Gen-Zs in the online world is because it lets you create a profile that clearly reflects you as a person beyond the app. Additionally, you can add friends and welcome them into your space decorated with all the things that embody who you are. It could be as simple as a poster of your favorite celebrity, a spilled cup of coffee, or a messy stack of books.

Besides building your virtual self and creating a 3D space, you can also share personalized statuses, moods, hobbies, and musings anytime and anywhere. Yes, it acts like any other social media app, but Bondee is unlike Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, it’s a bit cuter; it’s a bit more “you.” 


Bonding at the Bondee-verse

It’s all in the tagline: “Live with your friends”. Through building your own hive-like community (that is limited to 50 friends only as of writing), Bondee makes you feel like you’re back in 2020, burrowed inside your house and craving that safe, platonic intimacy with your friends. Fortunately, that isn’t the case anymore for most countries. 





Bondee enables friends to engage in interactive activities such as lounging, clubbing, having a picnic, and more. If you sail long enough, it can even connect you with other strangers around the world through the feature called “Floating” where you can have brief interactions such as giving each other a simple wave or sailing the calm seas for a short moment. Whether it’s about leaving a sticky note on your friend’s space wishing them well, or sending a message in a bottle towards the great unknown—all of this you can experience in the comforts of your own phone. 





The Possible Zepeto Effect

Despite its good reception, it isn’t all smooth sailing here in the meta-lounge. Bondee is not the first app that received all this hype because of its personalized nature. Zepeto was one of the first pocket-sized social apps where you can style your own 3D avatar. When it was first launched in March 2018, its target audiences were kids and teenagers who like the idea of an avatar-based social network, similar to what Bondee offers for its users. 

As Zepeto grew popular worldwide, many questioned the security and safety of its users’ personal data. In a deep dive by horror YouTuber ReignBot, various users claimed that the social networking app is tracking their location, hijacking their phone camera, and eavesdropping on their mobile conversations. This is because before downloading the app, it will first ask for permission to access your microphone, camera, and contacts. Not long after the privacy scare, the developers of Zepeto clarified that there is no tapping or tracking being done.  

Bondee has somewhat followed Zepeto’s footsteps when it came to receiving allegations of user spying, albeit the former has added “credit card information leakage” while the latter did not have such claims. Metadream, Bondee’s developer, denied these rumors by issuing a statement detailing what they know about the rumors, clarifying their status, and looking into their system for further investigation. 



bondee_sea on Twitter: “Hello Neighbours!In light of the recent spread of misinformation, we want to assure you that we will never use your information for anything sketchy or charge you without your permission. Pinky swear!🫶🏻🥰 #bondee #bondeestatement #metaverse / Twitter”

Hello Neighbours!In light of the recent spread of misinformation, we want to assure you that we will never use your information for anything sketchy or charge you without your permission. Pinky swear!🫶🏻🥰 #bondee #bondeestatement #metaverse



To date, Zepeto is now a social media app thriving in in-app purchases or “coins” to function. It wasn’t as turbulent as when it was released, before the paranoia surrounded the networking platform. Now, only a niche group of people use Zepeto,  mainly Chinese and South Korean users. With this information, it is safe to assume based on their (almost) shared history that Bondee may suffer the same fate as Zepeto, especially in a time where tech corporations are churning out application after application centering around “connection,” “personalization,” and of course, “metaverses.” 

Right now, the cyber-masses are riding the high of adorable status actions and annoying pokes, but what comes after that remains to be up in the air for Bondee. Judging by recent activities, the integration of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is on the horizon for the cutesy networking app.

So sail safely, Bondee buddies! The meta-wave has yet to come.



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