If you haven't heard of it, you will soon. It is “The world’s fastest growing online world hangout for teens.”
“In a world where teens are constantly branding and packaging themselves” on sites like MySpace, Facebook, Habbo Hotel, Cyworld, and others, points out CEO Craig Sherman, “Gaia is where you get away from it all.”
That quote is from a nice interview/overview of Gaia
from GigaOM's Wagner James Au, a blogger I am coming to enjoy reading more and more each week.
The Gaia Numbers: Demographics and Usage Patterns as of April 2007
- 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
I think their approach to advertising and sponsorship makes a lot of sense:
The company’s other revenue source are ad campaigns created to run within the world of Gaia. Before launching these, Sherman says, they solicited subscriber feedback, to find out which potential advertisers they wanted to see in the world— and which they didn’t. (Cool fashion brands got the majority nod; big American auto companies, however, didn’t.)
Staffers work with advertisers to create, not passive billboards, but an extended immersive experience. Gaia’s campaign for New Line Cinema’s fantasy adventure The Last Mimzy, for example, challenged their users to accomplish a series of tasks in order to get their own special Gaian-only Mimzy (a super-intelligent bunny). Hundreds of thousands of these Mimzyies were given out—meaning some 10-20% of their total user base jumped through the hoops to win the advertiser’s prize. (By contrast, when Nissan began giving away virtual versions of their cars in Second Life, far less than 1% of Residents took them up on the offer.)
The site's anime look comes from Studio XD
, the comic art firm behind the idea
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