Around the Virtual World

A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


EBay Rings Up Mobile Payment Outfit For $240M

EBay Inc. unit PayPal will beef up its position in the online payment market with the $240 million purchase of mobile phone payment specialist Zong, as big online merchants continue to snap up upstarts in the world of virtual commerce.

The Metrics Are the Message: How Analytics is Shaping Social Games

The freemium gaming business is expanding rapidly. We all know about the Facebook behemoth Zynga, which now claims over 250 million monthly players, and is valued at anywhere between $5-10bn. But online, there are dozens of global companies hawking a range of in-depth gaming experiences.

Online Consumers Willing to Pay Premium for Net Privacy

Online consumers thought to be motivated primarily by savings are, in fact, often willing to pay a premium for purchases from online vendors with clear,
protective privacy policies, according to a new study in the current issue of a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Could Google+ Be the Best Social Network for Your Career?

Barely two weeks old, Google’s new social network, Google+, is already scrambling the social media hierarchy. One of its key features — that your professional and personal lives can go their separate ways — helps solve a key Facebook drawback., Inc., projects $50 Million Revenue

According to eMarketer worldwide social network spending is expected to reach $6 billion this year. The social networking market for kids age 13 and under is estimated at over one billion ($1,000,000,000) dollars per year and rapidly growing., Inc., is committed to earn a significant share of that revenue stream for shareholders and provide a safe Internet experience for pre-teens., Inc.,
projects annual revenues to exceed $50 million by third year of full operations.

Electronic Arts To Pay $750M for PopCap Games

Electronic Arts Inc. said Tuesday that it will buy PopCap Games for at least $750 million in a bid to snag a larger piece of the rapidly growing market for games on cell phones and social networks.

Badgeville Raises $12M to Lead the Way in Gamification

Gamification startupĀ Badgeville has raised $12 million in a second round of funding to add game-like features to non-game applications.