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In world of online flirting, virtual gifts are big business

Would you spend $5 on a rose you couldn't smell? $10 on a teddy you couldn't squeeze? $50 on a stack of cash you can't spend?

Virtual gifts have become a huge business -- and it means big bucks for online dating sites, where users are spending cash to woo a potential mate. [Click here to read the full story.]

While researching this story, I sat down with Clifford Lerner, CEO of Snap Interactive (OTC BB:STVI), who shared with me some stats about a few users spending a ton of money to impress girls within the company's Facebook app called "Are You Interested?" He said one guy spent $900 in one hour to send $20 virtual gifts of animated hearts to several ladies, hoping someone would message him back.

Gifts It made some sense. If a guy spent $20 on me, there could be more guilt to at least send him a thank you back -- no matter how strange it might seam . And in the world of online dating, getting a reply back means everything... and maybe some folks would pay a few bucks to get your attention better than just sending an e-mail.

And while doing research I signed up for "Are You Interested?" -- and without creating a profile, in one day I got 14 guys who sent me these gifts! The prices ranged from $2.25 to $6... some from guys from Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Alaska and a few from Florida.

But to have a little fun with it all, some of the folks here at the Herald put together a Facebook app where you don't have to blow your budget on fake Valentine gifts. When you care to send the very cheapest, send Bridget Carey's Bargain-Basement Valentines.


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Jordan here, next year's business manager/photo guy for Nova High school's Newspaper staff. Again, thanks for visiting us last week! It was really inspiring to see someone not much older than ourselves have so much success working for such a great paper. Anyway, it's funny that people actually spend real money on things they can't physically enjoy. There's actually this MMORPG (Massively Multilayer Online Role Playing Game) much like the very popular WoW (World of Warcraft)that is free-to-play, but sports a 'cash shop' from which players can purchase clothing, armor, and accessories for their avatars with store-bought point cards. Kids can bug their parents to run over to target/cvs/gamespot and buy these 10$/30$ cards to buy things that don't actually exist.



Crazy, right? Yeah - I played it in middle/elementary school. Stupid/nerdy, I know. But hey, it was fun then :)
Take care - I look forward to your next story.

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