SOURCE: Offerpal Media

December 16, 2008 08:00 ET

Offerpal Media Sheds Light on Virtual Gifting, Highlights This Season's Hottest Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer Online

From Ornaments to Stocking Stuffers, Millions of Virtual Gifts Expected to Be Exchanged This Belt-Tightening Holiday Season

FREMONT, CA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2008) - This year, instead of looking under the tree, a whole lot of folks will be checking their social networking profile pages to see what Santa has left them. With the growing popularity of social networks and with holiday shoppers feeling the pinch, consumers are increasingly looking to virtual gifts as a way to share the holiday spirit without breaking the bank.

Virtual gift-giving has become one of the top activities on social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and hi5, with the Web-wide market for virtual goods estimated to be at least $2 billion. Considering that the cost of most virtual items is one or two dollars, the number of transactions involved is astronomical. In many cases, virtual gifts are completely free to the sender, who can earn virtual currency by taking part in targeted advertising offers provided by Offerpal Media, the leading "Managed Offer Platform" for social publishers.

On social networks, application developers are opening virtual holiday shops, selling wares appropriate to the season -- everything from Christmas tree ornaments to Santa's reindeer. For smalltime spenders, giving a one-dollar virtual gingerbread house to a friend or a free virtual candy cane to a coworker is the perfect solution to keeping the holiday budget in check while spreading yuletide cheer. Developers, in turn, earn real revenues from these transactions through their partnership with Offerpal Media, which is the leading platform for social media advertising.

Here are Offerpal Media's top picks for the best applications in the 2008 holiday season:

1.  Make A Baby
2.  Growing Gifts
3.  Gift Creator
4.  Send Teddy Bears
5.  SnowGlobe
6.  Treats N Eats
7.  Social Calendar
8.  Family Tree
9.  Holiday Gifts
10. Holiday Hunt

Beyond virtual gift-giving, social networking applications are also being designed to help people get through the holidays without missing an event or forgetting a loved one. Social Calendar, for example, keeps track of holiday parties for users, while Family Builder can ensure that everyone -- from the cousins in Paris, Texas to the aunt in Lebanon, New Hampshire -- receives a holiday card or gift.

"Giving and receiving virtual gifts with friends on social networks is one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit this year," said Anu Shukla, CEO of Offerpal Media. "Our partners in the application development industry have been as hard at work as Santa's elves getting their apps ready for the holidays, and we hope that users will find them a fun and novel way to shop. Not only do these gifts make less of a dent in the bank account, they are imaginative and inventive in ways that only the virtual world can be."

About Offerpal Media

Offerpal Media is the first "Managed Offer Platform" for social applications, online communities and e-commerce sites. The company's turnkey platform allows developers of social applications on networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, hi5 and others to monetize their traffic through uniquely engineered offers. Meanwhile, advertisers can tap into Offerpal Media's expansive network to reach more than 50 million highly engaged and targeted consumers on social networks. The platform also helps online merchants generate incremental revenue by using ad offers as an alternate payment method. Based in Fremont, CA, and backed by top-tier venture capital firms, Offerpal Media features an experienced management team with deep roots in online advertising, personalization, and optimization technologies. For more information, visit

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