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Virtual gift-giving on the rise: Cellufun exec

The social gaming company said that it priced its goods at 50 percent off and saw sales increase by nearly six times more than average. Cellufun said its mobile gift giving is all about convenience.

“Particularly during a difficult economic time, virtual gifts are gaining a tremendous amount of attention,” said Neil Edwards, CEO of Cellufun, New York. “They are both economical and instant, so there are no shipping costs.

“And the prices are obviously a fraction of what you would be paying in the real world,” he said.

Cellufun claims to be the world’s largest mobile social gaming community where people can meet, shop and play social games.

Mobile gifts
The mobile social network is available on any phone with a data plan and does not require a download.

 A recent study by Q Interactive Services found 57 percent of female respondents said they view virtual gifting as important as receiving a real world gift.
Mr. Edwards said Cellufun is starting to see variety when it comes to virtual goods and it has more than 5,000 virtual items in its mobile marketplace.

All Cellufun transactions must take place using virtual currency known as FunCoins. These coins can be purchased using a mobile phone and the charge will be placed on the consumer’s phone bill.

Virtual presents can be given to anyone, not just Cellufun users.

The company also added limited-time seasonal items such as Santa hats and seasonal treats in an effort to spread holiday cheer.

More than half of the consumers polled in a study by Q Interactive Services said virtual gifting is as meaningful to them as receiving a real world item.

Mr. Edwards said virtual goods allow consumers to give something to someone that they may only interact with online.

“We’re finding that virtual gifts have a much longer shelf life than real-world gifts,” Mr. Edwards said. “For example, a card given from one person to another will likely only last for a few days or weeks before finding its way into the trash and can only be enjoyed by the intended recipient and those in that person’s household or office.

“A virtual card on Cellufun, for example, can be viewed by anyone who visits your profile and can be enjoyed until the recipient decides to remove it from his or her profile,” he said.