Everything social is trendy nowadays, so today, hi5 launched its social entertainment platform with 42 flash based games. Although hi5 claims that it has higher CPM than its competitors, generating revenues from social networking sites is a challenge, and creating a social gaming section is an opportunity to generate new revenue streams. In game advertising displayed during loading time gets higher CPMs, and gamers will be able to purchase premium gaming features and status upgrade using hi5 Coins, the virtual currency launched in December. According to Mike Trigg, VP of Marketing and Andrew Sheppard, Executive Director, Interactive Media; this monetization model will be particularly successful in South East Asia. The 15-24 years-old age group represents 60% of the site users (Comscore), which is a younger audience compared to Facebook (30+), and they are more inclined than the older crowd to engage in the social gaming experience. Hi5 is one of the world’s largest social network site with over 56 million unique visitors a month with 80% of its users outside the US. Hi5 grew 79% in the first half of 2008 which is more than twice the rate of any of the top 10 social networks. (Comscore, June 2008).
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