If you've tired of the common monkey, cupcake, thong and alcohol-themed gifts that dot Facebook profiles like the detritus of a faded Burning Man party, there's good news afoot! Mashable reports that you can now send Britney Spears branded virtual gifts to your Facebook friends for $2 a pop. If you need more than a schoolgirl outfit and a "B" stamped balloon to get you to cash in your two-dollar bill. then hold on to your seat because the virtual gifts are "all signed by Spears herself" -- virtually, of course.
The announcement on Spear's website notes that this the first time that a "global recording artist has offered virtual gifts specific to their likeness on Facebook." Frankly, I'm surprised it has taken this long. With a new set of rules dictating who makes it in the music biz, exposure and a social media presence are extremely important.
That, and of course the money. Facebook hasn't disclosed how much it makes off of the $1 virtual gifts it normally sells, but Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners has estimated the revenue from virtual gifts in the $35 Million neighborhood as recently as last September. This is double the revenue that he estimated Facebook took in from selling digital totchkes in January of 2008 and represents a significant motivation for a star like Britney to cash in on virtual gifts.