Offerpal Media has teamed up with virtual social network IMVU to offer another monetization option within the virtual goods realm. With the partnership, Offerpal will extend another way for IMVU users to earn credits, which are used as currency for the virtual world. As Offerpal Media has created a platform specifically for social networks, applications, games and virtual worlds with offer-based options extended to users, the partnership between these two companies seems as though it will be mutually beneficial to both parties. The partnership comes weeks after Offerpal Media received $15 million in funding to grow its social ads model.
IMVU already has a large user base, with virtual goods being at the center of its social network. With a reported 35 million registered users and a catalog of virtual items to be purchased and exchanged, IMVU is well established i its own virtual economy. At this point, we’re finding that virtual-based networks and other social networks are seeking deeper integration with other forms of revenue-generation to expand the earning potential of their virtual economy. To that end, incorporating ads into virtual economies has been a growing trend for virtual world networks and various types of social media applications, even if they’re not based on virtual worlds.
With Offerpal Media in particular, the targeting methods for IMVU users is part of this deeper integration, taking advantage of in-world activity for the purpose of creating a relevant exchange of offers for virtual credits. For IMVU, this presents an opportunity for the virtual world to increase its revenue without having to increase its virtual inventory. Teaming with Offerpal presents more options to users for earning credits with little work on IMVU’s end.
Super Rewards has been expanding a similar monetization platform in recent months, giving developers and site owners more control over the targeting methods extended to users. And another social network hi5 has been steadily adding to its virtual offerings as well, layering in games and partnering with PlaySpan for a virtual goods monetization platform itself.
What we’re seeing is a diversification of ways in which users can earn credits as opposed to directly buying them, as well as a broadening of ways in which social networks and virtual economies can create revenue. While it’s less dependent on direct ads and direct sales for network owners, it’s yet another form of advertising that’s geared towards users. To this end, targeting is important and only increases the incentive potential for end users.