Guide to Creating a Virtual Economy for Social Applications
The Key points from the presentation are:
Name the Currency – The Virtual currency should have a name in the application. It could be anything from “green bucks”, “chips”, “pet dollars” etc so that a user can relate to it with respect to the application.
Earn Currency – The user of the application should be provided with multiple different methods to earn the virtual currency and be a part of the system. A few common methods are:
- Loyalty Rewards. (Logging In to Application)
- Incentives to Invite New Users.
- Complete Action/Activity.
- Complete Offers from online merchants.
- Real Dollars using Paypal.
Redeem Currency – The user should also be given different avenues to redeem all the currency that they earned in the application. It helps to keep the economy healthy.
- Decorative Goods – These could be self expressive gifts. Ex: Clothes, Toys in the “Make a baby” application.
- Virtual Gifts – The ability to gift other users a virtual product, as it leads to social interaction. Ex: Gifting Plants in the application “Green patch”.
- Functional Goods – These goods alter the user experience of an application. It could add more power/ability to the character in the application. Ex: Buying Virtual Weapons to enhance your chance of winning and defeating the enemy.
Promote Currency – The Application should promote the currency. A tab or banner add should be displayed to the user, so that they can easily find different ways to earn and redeem the currency
Keep Economy Fresh – The economy should always be fresh so that the users have the incentive of interacting with the application and have a fun experience. This can be done by adding new goods, and innovative services to keep the interest level of the users always up.
Measure, Test, Analyze – The developer should always measure and tweak their application based on user behavior and their interaction with the virtual economy.
Update: Post by Anu Shukla on Tips.
February 5, 2009 - Posted by socialapp | facebook application, web application | facebook, facebook application, myspace application, opensocial, social application, social networking, virtual economy, web application
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I have created this blog ‘SocialApp’ to track the growing innovation around social software. I have a degree in Computer Science and currently working at a successful Silicon Valley Company. I have a background ranging from embedded devices, networking equipment, desktop applications to web services.
I love to read about technology, science, business/finance and general world activities, etc and stay abreast. In the tech sector I am currently interested in playing/developing in technologies related to the Web and Mobile Devices. The topics in this blog will range from social-software development, social applications, web applications, mobile applications, user psychology, innovation etc and my experiences tinkering with them. I often go to local tech based Meetup’s and will also post about them.
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