As companies implement virtual goods on applications in Facebook and other social networks, they need better tools for analyzing how people are buying and selling these goods and how to make more money.
Today, Twofish is offering these companies a set of e-commerce analytics services, called EasyElements, that can be integrated into Google Analytics or into its more comprehensive Elements analytics program. It may help them make more money from their users.
Virtual economies are complicated and easy to mess up (sort of like real-life economies). But tuned right, incentives in a game will get users to spend money, and in turn make money for the developer.
The first component of EasyElements is called CurrencyStarter. It’s a software add-on for Google Analytics that helps smaller developers quickly implement a virtual currency into an application and track basic e-commerce data. Features include a customizable interface, foreign exchange rates and offers for doing international business, support for multiple currencies, and a variety of payment options. Competitors in the area of currency creation include Jambool and Spare Change, but neither currently offer the same sophisticated e-commerce analytics that Twofish is focusing on.
The second part of what Twofish is launching today is CurrencyStarter for Elements, more of a full-fledged accounting system combined with user data. This software service is also getting CurrencyStarter, and paired with the deeper data modeling it allows, it could prove to be the more attractive option for established developers. It lets you get currency and account reports, analyze user engagement, and see what types of users are doing what activities. Companies can do macroeconomic analysis of how money is flowing through a game, or microeconomic analysis of how specific types of transactions are occuring.
The clarity of all this data is the sort of stuff economists dream about, as Twofish chief technology officer William Grosso discusses in the embedded slideshow below. For people interested in the concept of virtual goods, it’s worth a view.