Hi5 launches virtual-gift emporium

Much like Facebook's, the Hi5 gift shop allows members to give one another virtual items for a fee. A total of 36 gifts, many with a Latin American cultural bent, are available at launch.

Social network Hi5 has launched a virtual-gift store and currency called "Hi5 Coins."

Hi5 is big on multiculturalism --the San Francisco-based company enjoys its most loyal following in a number of Latin American countries--so many of the gifts have regional cultural significance. The payment system is handled through the third-party service ClickandBuy, and a total of 36 gifts are available at launch.

Expect virtual-gift services to get even hotter in the social-network world over the next few months, as companies scramble for another form of revenue besides advertising . Facebook has modified its in-house Gifts application to allow for variable pricing, for example.

Gifts and virtual goods are also some of the biggest moneymakers on social-application platforms like Facebook's, not to mention in virtual worlds where members pay to accessorize their avatars.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Best mobile games of 2014
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)
This is it: The Audiophiliac's top in-ear headphones of 2014 (pictures)
ZTE's wallet-friendly Grand X (pictures)
Lenovo reprises clever design for the Yoga Tablet 2 (Pictures)