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Google StreetView and advertising in virtual worlds: Spark 100 Podcast

Screen shot 2010-01-23 at 06.53.08Here’s a Spark 100 podcast from CBC Radio in Toronto.

I’m discussing (towards the end) the recent Google StreetView patent relating to ad overlays and the implications of real/virtual world advertising.

VW User Profiles: SmallWorlds

Launched in 2008, SmallWorlds currently has over 2m registered accounts and is the next in our series of looking at age profiles for virtual worlds targeting teens and older. Here’s the age profile:

smallworlds.020 The most popular user age in SmallWorlds is 14, accounting for 14% of the total. 15 and 19 years vie for second place, with early to mid 20’s also holding their own.

Again we have an interesting mini-peak at age 29. This mini-peak can also be seen in Miss Bimbo AND Club Cooee. Hmmm – interesting. Anyone got any thoughts on this?

Here’s the cumulative chart for SmallWorlds. Continue reading →

15 Jan

VW User Profiles: Miss Bimbo

Virtual fashion site Miss Bimbo attracted its fair share of media attention in 2008, mostly relating to the potential negative themes of the site and their impact on young girls. Looking at the user data, it would appear that Miss Bimbo actually attracts an older audience than the media would lead us to believe. Interestingly since launch over 2m registered accounts have been created. Here’s the age profile for registered, active and paying users.

The highest represented age proportionately for registered and active users is 19, with mid to late teens also well represented. Continue reading →

Avg user ages by country for Habbo

Here’s some insightful data recently released from Habbo. It shows the average user age by country. In the first chart we’ve colour-coded countries by major region. It’s almost per continent but we’ve broken out Scandinavia, for reasons well explained by the chart…

With an average user age of 15.9, Peru tops the chart, followed by Malaysia.

Inversely, the Netherlands has the overall lowest average user age with 13, followed by Belgium.

Can we draw conclusions from this chart. That’s what the colour-coding is for.

It would appear the the Scandinavian countries combined have a low (compared to others) average user age. Let’s remember that the parent company (Sulake) is based in Finland and was launched their first in 2000. This could imply that older target market users in these countries get into Habbo at a comparative earlier age and then migrate to older worlds – they might be a little more familiar with virtual worlds than users in countries from South American for example, that combined has an older average age.

The broad conclusion here being that the lesser developed the country or region, the higher average user age. By lesser developed we mean a lower broadband and PC penetration with a generally less internet savvy population. Of course, other factors do come into play here such as awareness of specific virtual worlds and unique nuances per country.

Here’s the chart showing aggregated average ages per major region in support of this conclusion….

13 Jan

VW User Profiles: Club Cooee

User Analysis

Our first three posts in this series looking at age and country user profiles focused on younger worlds – Poptropica, Moshi Monsters and Jumpstart. Now we’re switching up a little, this time looking at Club Cooee. CC takes a different approach to delivering a virtual world experience by using the desktop at the platform.

Here’s the user base age profile:

The spike around age 19 is probably explained by users thinking they get additional features/services/access by indicating they’re over 18 years old.

Factoring this blip out, it’s clear that Club Cooee resonates well into early to mid teens. However, the gradual decline from this sweetspot age range shows that this world is well represented right through to the early 20’s. Continue reading →

LEGO Universe trailer and screenshots

Unveiled this week at CES, LEGO Universe nears towards a release at last (it’s been a while). Joystiq has the launch trailer and a selection of screenshots and as they correctly point out, there’s glossy, well-directed promo vids and then there’s actual screenshots.

Over the years we’ve seen some pretty examples of the disparity between the two when it actually comes to the user experience. Perhaps this time around LEGO Universe will live up to the hype. [Insert corny joke about the competition bricking it].

Augmented Reality brand tracking presentation

Following on from our first post tracking brands using AR, this is an on-going presentation we’ll update each month. We’ve got 2009 pretty much covered and activity is now broken down by major sector, with the Automobile, Apparel, Media/Entertainment and Food/Drink categories broken-out specifically. Here’s the presentation.

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