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Habbo: Teens Willing to Friend Brands

Virtual Worlds News
April 26, 2010

Today Habbo parent Sulake released data from a survey of 5,300 of the virtual community's teen users regarding their interactions with brands. According to the survey, 72% of teens in Habbo are willing to declare a brand their friend in the virtual world. Sulake compares this to the findings of Razorfish's annual FEED survey, which found that only 40% of adults were willing to declare a brand their friend on the social network Facebook. 

Sulake argues that this outcome reflects a fundamentally different attitude toward brands among teens, who use brand identifications to help build their personality. Teens don't differentiate the online and offline worlds the way adults do, so they're also likely to incorporate brand affiliations into their online persona. This can be through incorporating branded clothing into an avatar's digital outfit, or simply through participating in brand promotions in a virtual world or social network. 

Comparing Habbo's survey to FEED Razorfish's also reveals that teens are more willing to participate in brand activities online. Only 70% of adults on social networks said they would participate in a brand activity on the social network, while 92% of Habbo's users said they would participate in a brand activity in the virtual world. In addition, 93% of Habbo's users were willing to keep displaying branded virtual items or badges after a given brand promotion had ended. 

Roughly 80% to 85% of Habbo's revenue is generated through direct sales of virtual goods to users. The rest is accounted for by advertising deals. Habbo clearly sees a bigger advertising focus as a way to grow revenue, especially if they can get brands interested in using virtual spaces and goods to reach teen audiences. Given that brand advertising is booming on social networks now, it seems like Habbo should be able to get brands interesting in their virtual world, too.





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