Looking expand its virtual payments operator more deeply into mobile apps, Offerpal Media is buying ad net mediator Tapjoy. Terms of the dea…
Offerpal Media this morning said it has acquired Tapjoy, a small startup aimed at helping developers monetize their mobile applications. The move is a clear signal that the online phenomenon of offer-based ads is about to move into mobile in a big way.
The debate that erupted last week over marketing offers within social games — namely, that third-party offers for virtual currency used by gamers include scams that trick people into unwanted subscriptions — shook the fast-growing social games sector. In the short term, there’s some resolution to the story, as the sunlight on this issue has provided some disinfectant. But longer term, things are going to get trickier. Social gaming companies like Zynga have demonstrated such success in monetizing social network users that their methods are bound to seep outside the virtual worlds of games to permeate the larger world of the social networks themselves. The real challenge will be learning all the pitfalls and hazards of using personal information increasingly as a form of currency.
To get a good start on the burgeoning and engrossing debate over the use of marketing offers as virtual currency in social games, check out both Michael Arrington’s blog post on the subject and the video of his heated back-and-forth with OfferPal Media’s Anu Shukla. Once you’ve seen them, let us know where you stand on those issues.