I was going through my feeds and was excited to read Gigaom’s post about Gaia online avatar social network.
First, a few words about Gaia for those who are not familiar with it; Gaia is an online world with a series of virtual cities where Gaian avatars can socialize (up to 100 in a single space), with apartments they can own, and treasures they can find with no combat, whatsoever). I have been familiar with Gaia ever since I entered the avatars business and learned the avatars market and offering of those days.
However, stumbling upon avatars websites is very common on the web. The real excitement is to be able to get usage numbers. Fortunately, Wagner James Au (correspondent for Gigaom) managed to bring us the usage numbers of Gaia online social network:
• 300,000 log in daily, according to the company; average unique visit is two hours a day.
• Average concurrency: 64,000 users. Maximum: 86,738.
• 85% of users are based in the US
• 10% are English-speaking but non-US (with 5% a nebulous Other)
• Breakdown by gender: 55% Girls - 45% Boys
• About 20% of subscribers put up their real life photo in their avatar profile.
• Number of Gaia gold “millionaires”, as of last week: 1385
Putting the numbers on ice, one of the interesting features that are worth to notice at Gaia is the incentive mechanism where users get incentives for participating in the online community’s life:
“A unique innovation is the way the company distributes its virtual gold currency: instead of selling it for real money (as with There) or allowing its trade on the open market (as with Second Life), Gaians are automatically given gold for participation: You get gold for posting on the Forums, for riding events, for uploading content, for exploring the world. Subscribers are rewarded for engaging in Gaia, in other words— and the reward incents them to engage in Gaia even more.”
To summarize, every avatar social community that succeeds is a win for the entire avatar business. Way to go Gaia!