– social software

Guide to Creating a Virtual Economy for Social Applications


Anu Shukla, the CEO of offerpal media, gave a presentation at Myspace DevJam on building a virtual economy for engaging  social applications.  Offerpal media is a “Managed Offer Network” for social application publishers and online merchants. 

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:

  1. Loyalty Rewards. (Logging In to Application)
  2. Incentives to Invite New Users.
  3. Complete Action/Activity.
  4. Complete Offers from online merchants.
  5. 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.

  1.  Decorative Goods – These could be self expressive gifts. Ex: Clothes, Toys in the “Make a baby” application.
  2. 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”.
  3.  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.offerpalstats1

Update: Post by Anu Shukla on Tips.


February 5, 2009 - Posted by | facebook application, web application | , , , , , , ,


  1. Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

    Making Money $150 An Hour

    Comment by Mike | March 1, 2009

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