A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.
Why Groupon and Foursquare Should Mate
Each company has its flaws and strengths. The
beautiful thing is they both have strengths where each other lacks. To
say it simply:
Groupon has many businesses on board off the start and they give
great deals for consumers. But customers don't come back after they have
used a Groupon. Leaving businesses completely upset and losing money. Foursquare motivates people to come back to establishments for
mayorships and badges but leaving consumers wanting more for their
efforts. Plus the lack of involvement from venues is hindering the
Venezuela and Ecuador Make Trade Using New virtual Currency
Venezuela an initial shipment of crude palm oil under a new trade currency
regime known as the Unified System for Regional Compensation, or Sucre, the
Ecuadorian government said.
Social Gaming Market to Pass $1 Billion in 2011
The social gaming market is expected to pass $1 billion this year, thanks
to a rising number of users and a projected increase in advertising, according
to research group eMarketer.
Non-profits Ride Social Gaming Trend Too
It is not
surprising non-profits are entering this space: social gaming is expected to
become a billion dollar business this year, eMarketer estimates. Nearly 62
million US internet users, or 27% of the online audience, will play at least
one game on a social network monthly this year, up from 53 million in 2010, it
said. As these numbers increase, so will the money spent on virtual goods,
lead-generation offers and advertising.
Watch: Caped Koala Studios
Koala Studios has stormed into 2011, ready to launch what it believes will
become the world's top online education and entertainment destination for kids.
firm has developed an online 3D virtual world called Pora Ora (www.poraora.com), which combines games, education
and social networking. Pora Ora made its public debut in London on 12 January
at BETT 2011, the UK's largest educational technology trade show.
Next Stop: OpenSim!
virtual world platform is the destination of droves of emigrant avatars, as a
price hike and the shutdown of the teen-only grid have prompted an educator
exodus away from Second Life.
Gaming Ads to Soar - But Virtual Goods Still Lead Revenue
With the still rising popularity of social
media games like Zynga's Farmville
and Mafia Wars, advertising is
naturally beginning to follow. But at least for the next few years, despite a
major growth spurt, ad dollars will continue to lag virtual goods when it comes
to making money in the social gaming. "Understanding the popularity of social
gaming is simple," said eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna.