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Indians paying real cash for virtual kisses now

Last updated on: March 3, 2011 13:57 IST

Indians paying real cash for virtual kisses now

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Considered to be price sensitive and cautious purchasers, Indians in tier-2 and tier-3 cities are nevertheless paying between Rs 5 and Rs 20 to send virtual kisses and hugs over their mobile phones, claims Singapore-based applications developer mig33.

mig-33, which offers a social entertainment platform for mobile phones, claims to have registered 100 per cent growth in India last year and most of this growth came from tier-2 and tier-3 cities of the country.

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"Our focus is on users of tier-2 and tier-3 cities, because entertainment options for people in these cities is less compared to that available in metros," said Mohit Gundecha, director of business development and head of India operations for mig33.

The company saw Indians, both resident and non-resident, exchange 260,000 virtual gifts during the Diwali season.

"The price of gifts was between Rs 5 to Rs 100. While virtual gifts like sweets were in the lower range, people did not hesitate to gift virtual precious diamonds worth Rs 100 to their dear ones," Gundecha said.

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While gift exchanges peaked during the festive season, virtual gifts like 'Kiss' and 'Big Hug' have been favourite among its users, he added.

"The price of these gifts differs from time to time. The range is between Rs 5 and Rs 20 for both these items".

For the purchase of gift items, user of mig33 need to have credit balance in their account, which is either made available by earning points through a referral programme or by paying money.

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mig33 claims its sales doubled in India, Pakistan and Iraq during the 2010 calendar year. India is among the top-five growing markets for the company.

"We are seen huge growth in the Indian market because of cheap data plans being offered by telecom companies and spurt of low-priced GPRS-enabled handsets," said Gundecha. Gundecha sees the roll-out of 3G networks leading to more opportunities for the company, as users will be able to exchange graphic-rich products.

mig33 claims to have sold 4 crore (40 million) virtual gifts globally in 2010.

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