MIAMI--Virgin used Alex Hunter's presentation at the Future of Web Apps to announce its new Virgin.com website, due to enter closed beta in the next six weeks. The new site will include a lot of social features that allow users to upload and interact with content published to various sections of the site. Sample sections include entrepreneurship and entertainment.
In addition to the new social features, Virgin is implementing an incentive system on the site to encourage users to upload and interact. Points earned through this system will go not only towards a user's rank on the site, but can also be put towards physical goods since, as Hunter said, "Everyone likes free shit."
Virgin also announced that they have reached agreements with a few personalities to produce content for the site. Those announced include WineLibrary's Gary Vaynerchuk (who is speaking at FOWA later today), Virgin's own Richard Branson, and FOWA organizer, Ryan Carson.
Another interesting tidbit that was revealed towards the end of Hunter's presentation is that Virgin is working on a Facebook Connect implementation for their planes. So, in theory, your friends on Facebook could see that you are sitting in seat 5D, watching Diggnation, and drinking a Coke. There are, of course, a lot of interesting possibilities with this. The system could potentially show passengers if any of their friends are also on board so that they could send them a drink or go say hi.
Virgin has, historically, been on the cutting edge of adopting technology and it's great to see that they are taking some steps forward with social media as well.