Plyfe’s game-powered social rewards platform hits mobile

Plyfe launched earlier this year with the goal of doing something different with social rewards: What if you could earn real-world prizes simply by sharing content with friends, or by playing online games?

Today Plyfe is bringing its social reward platform for the mobile web, and in the process making it available to just almost every smartphone user. The company also announced new partnerships with the fashion site Haulerdeals, DermStore, and the United Nations Foundation.

Plyfe’s pitch is fairly simple: Sign in with your Facebook account at Plyfe.me, then look for available Plyfe games or prizes from a brand that you’re interested in. By accomplishing specific tasks, you’ll win tickets that could lead you to a significant prize. For example, you can try to win a meetup with productivity guru Timothy Ferriss by following the UN Foundation on Twitter and Facebook, or win a $25 Sephora gift card by doing the same for StyleHaul.

“Technology has empowered consumers to do things that they’ve never been able to do, and it’s actually creating new economies,” said Jeff Arbour, Plyfe’s co-founder and chief marketing officer, in an interview with VentureBeat. ” …We looked at that from a media perspective, we realized thre are all these consumers that have this ability to attract audiences, leverage audiences … We wanted to figure out a way to reward them in an authentic way.”

Arbour, and Plyfe’s other two co-founders, chief executive Mateen Aini and chairman Zaw Thet have been working to help brands succeed in mobile for the past decade. Before the iPhone hit in 2007, Arbour also worked with major brands to launch their first mobile channels.

For now, Plyfe seems like an intriguing idea, but it’s still unclear if consumers are willing to go through these social activities for the unknown potential of prizes. The company’s mobile website also isn’t the best experience — it’s sometimes slow, and the site’s formatting has trouble adjusting to different-sized screens. Arbour tells me an iPhone app is due next year.

New York City-based Plyfe raised $1 million in funding earlier this year from Initial Capital and General Catalyst Partners.


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