Zwinky is gaining speed

IAC/InteractiveCorp may have disappointed Wall Street with its second quarter results yesterday but the IAC Q2 2007 Earnings Call was revealing in that the company’s Virtual Worlds business was thriving. It’s Zwinky.com now has more than 8 million registered users who an average user session of 64 minutes and who have generated more than 15 million transactions using Zwinky virtual currency inside the virtual world of Zwinktopia. Zwinky is a $100 million a year business due to how it forces users to download a browser toolbar for Ask.com. And that is ad revenue only – not ecommerce or virtual item revenue.

From the Earnings Call:

* Zwinky.com now has over eight million registered users, spending on average 64 minutes on the site each session.

* The recent April launch of the Zwinky Virtual World, Zwinktopia, has led to over 15 million transactions using the Zwinky virtual currency called Z-Bucks. In addition to monetizing through search, there are clearly e-commerce opportunities with Zwinky, as well.

From the NY Times:

The catch is to use any of Zwinky.com services, you have to download a toolbar that will install in your Web browser that prominently features a box for searches (by, of course, Ask). The advertising revenue from these searches has become a $100 million a year business, said the chief executive of IAC’s consumer applications and portals division, which includes FunWebProducts.

Virtual Worlds News: IAC’s Zwinky.com Tops 8 Million registered users, $100 Mil In revenue

Yay! Congrats Zwinktopia & Zwinky.com! I have not jumped deeply into your world, I apologize. Why? Because to get INTO Zwinktopia you must download the app into your browser, where it traces your movements online and such.  THAT, my friends, is a creepy/marketing invasion.  Not so cool.

However, 64 minutes?! 64 minutes is fantastic (still got a ways to go to reach Second Life’s 2 hours, or WOW’s eternity– that’s a joke).

Some people rate websites on unique visitors– to me, that’s just marketing. It’s the average amount of time on the site that I find important. Why? Because it means that not ONLY are staying online because they have found something worthy of (wasting) time. If you don’t like a site– you usually don’t stick around for hours.

I certainly hope this time average doesn’t have anything to do with the browser add-on. Fingers crossed. I’ll have to dig deeper on that question.

I DO see Zwinky commercials all over the place– well done marketing team. This is kinda exciting! Why? Because virtual worlds are gaining real world power. They’re worth notice. They’re worth invitation. They’re worth advertising in a medium other than the web.

But I do have to stress– Although Zwinktopia is making strides with the promotion & value of online communities & virtual worlds, it is NOT for Tweens or kids. U13 are NOT allowed into Zwinktopia (but they lie because it looks like they should be able to join… and parents don’t stop them, because– again– it LOOKs like it’s meant for U13). I apologize for pointing this out randomly– but it’s important to note for people of the parental persuasion, ya dig?

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