Around the Virtual World

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


U.S. virtual goods revenue on Facebook to grow 32 percent to $1.65B in 2012

That growth rate is lower than the 40 percent growth for 2011, as the market analyst firm predicts that revenue this year is growing from $800 million in to 2010 to $1.25 billion by the end of 2011. While that is rapid growth, it shows that the fast-growing virtual goods and social gaming industries that use it are maturing and slowing down.

SecretBuilders Passes 5 million Member Mark, Makes Parents Magazine’s Top 10

a game world for children with an emphasis on creativity and historical adventure, was selected by Parents Magazine, the leading parenting magazine in the world, as one of the Top 10 kids’ websites for 2011, alongside PBS Kids,
National Geographic’s Animal Jam, Nickleodeon’s Monkeyquest, and Pearson’s Poptropica.

Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle

Online gamers have achieved a feat beyond the realm of Second Life or Dungeons and Dragons: they have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade.


Facebook Changes The Social Networking Game… Again

Today at their annual F8 conference Facebook announced some dramatic changes to its platform. But this time it’s different. Why? Because the big social networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and now Google) have traditionally battled over the social graph – your relationships in the digital world and how to help build and connect them, but now Facebook is laying claim to your life.

Dangerous Intersection Of Mobility And Credit

There’s a 2011 version of the birthday cakes, mugs of beer, and other gifts Facebook used to let us “buy” for our friends. Since July 1, Facebook has required all game developers that receive payments through the site to use Facebook Credits for the transactions. When developers go to convert Credits into cash, Facebook gets a cool 20% cut.

Clarins Gets into Social Gaming on Facebook

In a seemingly unusual move for a cosmetics company — not to mention a French one — Clarins launched a casual game on Facebook earlier this week called Spa Life.