Ning Launches Virtual Goods – #DH09

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At Digital Hollywood, I caught up with Julie Supan, VP of Marketing for Ning. Ning, a site that lets you set up your own custom social network, has just announced the launch of a virtual gifts platform that allows users to buy and sell virtual goods using Ning’s virtual currency.

I thought it was an exciting announcement as I have written a lot about how to make social networking profitable by turning communities into economies.

Julie describes how Ning’s 1.6 million social networks can now start making money by selling virtual gifts. The net revenue(after Paypal fees) from the gifts is split between Ning and the social network.

Ning’s virtual currency called credits, converts into US funds at a rate of approximately 1 credit to $.02. To help get users started with virtual gifting, Ning will give 100 complimentary credits to all users. All Ning virtual gifts will be priced at 75 credits each, so Ning hopes that each user will get to send one virtual gift as a way to try out the feature.

I hope Ning finds more ways to extend how social networks can use the currency to pay users to take surveys or other actions that will help the networks make some real money.

Here’s the interview with Julie:

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