Last night, I attended Mobile Monday Silicon Valley networking and panel at the W Hotel in San Francisco, California, sponsored by Hi-Media. The topic was “Virtual Goods and Micropayments on Mobile and Beyond.” The panel was moderated by Justin Smith – Founder of Inside Network, and the panelists were: Lex Bayer – General Manager Payments Business at Playspan, Doug Bewsher – CMO at Mig33, Mark Curtis – CEO of Flirtomatic, Steven Lurie – General Manager Mobile at Zynga, Pooj Preena – CEO of Hi-Media USA, and Roger Wood – CEO of Orca.
One of the most interesting insights from the panel was from Mark Curtis of Flirtomatic who revealed that today, 34% of Flirtomatic’s users start using Flirtomatic on the web and then expand to using it on a mobile phone. Just two years ago, less than 10% of Flirtomatic’s users went from using the app on the web to using it from a mobile phone. That’s an impressive increase and one indicator of how mobile is becoming a growing part of consumers’ lives. In the case of Flirtomatic, the increase is particularly interesting because the core demographic of Flirtomatic’s users are working class users.
It’s clear that mobile virtual goods and micorpayments on mobile is growing in popularity, but there are challenges. In this video, a couple of the panelists discuss the challenges of working within the constraints of the mobile environment:
What does 2010 hold for mobile virtual goods and currency? For the most part, the panelists are optimistic about the future: