Millions of people log onto FaceBook every day. Of the several millions, many browse through friends profiles for hours upon hours a day, while others play with applications and leave comments on their friends walls. Is anyone really making money off FaceBook and this type of behavior from their social network users? Of course! FaceBook is just the reincarnation of MySpace with more funding, a better infrastructure, less trashy and probably a lot more profitable. If you didn’t cash in on MySpace, then this is just another opportunity. Microsoft isn’t stupid, they they just recently made a $240 million equity stake in Facebook during its next round of financing, valuing the company at a whopping $15 billion. However, this post isn’t about the valuation of FaceBook, nor Microsoft partnerships… it’s about how to make more out of something that is already there.
When you first join FaceBook, you receive a “Free Virtual Gift“, which is really just a virtual image that you can send to a friend. You only get one… but you can buy and send more for
$1 each. I rarely use FaceBook, and the idea of paying a dollar to send an image to a friend seems kind of ridiculous… why not just copy, save and email it? Simply because users want other users to see they were the ones to send or receive these virtual gifts, and even more so that the value of a gift in thought and intention is worth more than the small dollar to send it. So just how many users have sent one of these virtual gifts? According to CNN, “Since they (virtual gifts) were introduced in February, Facebook says its users have purchased more than 24 million of these dollar items, which are sold in limited editions to generate more interest“. Such a small and simple idea has generated an amazing amount of money… and you know FaceBook is going to monetize the heck out of it! I just logged in today and one of the first things I saw was them pushing their Holiday Virtual Gifts. How many of these are going to be sent out this month?
As a FaceBook member, you can even browse through their virtual gifts store, where they have have 380 different gifts you can send. This has been such a hit with the social network that you can even sort by “Bestselling”, “Newest”, “Selling Out” and “Most Rare”. By offering the categories of “Selling Out” and “Most Rare“, you can be sure this will entice collect and send even more virtual gifts, as they are in limited supply.
Social networks have been around for a couple of years now and they just keep getting hotter. The “Virtual Gifts” feature is owned and run by FaceBook, however thousands of developers, web designers and more are finding new ways to make money off social networks. Some profitable methods have been creating new applications to run with these networks or creating sites with images or layouts or place on profile pages. As MySpace, YouTube and FaceBook continue to grow, so should your money making opportunities. Are you going to be one of the millions of “social network users making other people money“… or one of the few “people making money off social network users“? I know where I’ll be!