While Us Weekly and In Touch keep us on top of real life celebs like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Brangelina, The AvaStar keeps Second Life users posted on the lives of virtual stars. If gossip magazines fly off the shelves in real life, they're sure to be a hit with our virtual lives as well, right? That's what German company, Bild T-Online thought when they launched The AvaStar, a virtual tabloid for avatars in the popular Second Life game.
"The AvaStar cover fictional people like Aimee Weber, a persona, or avatar, created by a real person who in her time in the virtual world has developed a reputation as a fashion designer and one of its foremost property developers," the International Herald Tribune reported.
The gossip report, which comes in English and German, "with a heavy reliance on user-generated stories, is an important testing ground for the Bild newspaper, the highest-circulation tabloid in Europe." Considering there are nine million SL users, there shouldn't be a lack of stories in the paper produced half by a Berlin-based staff and half by community members.
With print media on the verge of extinction, publishers are looking to "transition into not just the digital world, but into the Internet that might emerge in the future," the paper reported, "so that it's not just for Web 2.0 but as a brand for the 3D world." But they're not stopping with SL. The AvaStar will be appearing in rival virtual worlds including There.com, Activeworlds and HiPiHi.
Marketing in virtual worlds is a new phenomenon that doesn't show signs of stopping. Trend Hunter has featured businesses that are trying their hands at Second Life marketing in the past. Check out some past trends: