hi5 has undergone a lot of transformation lately. With 63 million users around the world, the global social network has refocused its efforts on a “social entertainment” game portal model, created a universal virtual currency for app developers, and signed up payment partners.
Now, the company has announced the launch of its first developer partner to integrate hi5 Coins: RockYou Pets. RockYou Pets will be distributed through the hi5 Games channel and exclusively accept hi5 Coins for the hi5 version of the game.
“This deal advances our partnership by allowing RockYou and hi5 to directly monetize user engagement through hi5 Coins, the virtual currency hi5 users are already accustomed to spending in a variety of ways on our site, “said Anil Dharni, vice president of products at hi5. By providing partners with the ability to integrate our payments infrastructure into their applications, hi5 is creating a great new monetization option for application developers.”
A robust ecosystem of third party applications accepting hi5 Coins could help drive big revenue growth for the company. hi5 says that RockYou is “the first of several OpenSocial partners” to gain access to the new hi5 APIs that provide broader access to hi5’s user base and “better overall monetization potential.”
Just this week, Facebook confirmed to Inside Facebook that it is launching an alpha test integrating its virtual currency with Facebook Platform application developers. However, that effort has yet to launch.
For now, hi5 continues its efforts to drive more monetization programs through games. Recently, it announced a deal with Mochi Media as well to monetize through in-game ads.