Social Networking Gets Ridiculous – Paying For Virtual Nothing
from the the-accidental-business-model dept
In the past, I’ve been critical of There.com’s business model of trying to get subscribers to their virtual world to buy virtual Nikes and Levi’s. It just seemed somewhat pointless to have someone spend real money on completely virtual clothes. I can almost understand it in online video games where better virtual goods mean more power – but where it’s just about fashion, it seems absolutely pointless. However, over at FunHi, which is yet another social networking service with the twist that they want all members to adopt some sort of “hiphop persona,” it appears that subscribers are buying virtual goods at an impressive pace. Part of the point of the system is to get more “buzz” by buying other people gifts, so that’s encouraged some who apparently need a paid-for self-esteem boost to keep on buying. Of course, when you look at the actual numbers, they’re not that impressive. The site (which didn’t expect this to be a real business model) has about 6,500 members, and the company brought in about $10,000 for these virtual gifts (which serve no other purpose than… well… being virtual gifts). However, at least one guy has spent $1,000 on gifts. It sounds like a few people with way too much free time and money are throwing it away on these virtual gifts. You wonder how long this will actually last.