eav optional stock marketWhen Empire Avenue first started it was a virtual stock market. That was it.  As EAv continues to evolve, it took another step away from its origins yesterday by making the virtual stock market optional.

Starting “in a week or so,” when new users sign up for EAv, they will have the option to “go public” immediately, wait until later, or never participate in the virtual stock market.

What are the implications?

In the announcement, EAv explained the reason for the change like this:

For those currently playing on the Stock Market, we want you to have people who are truly engaged to invest in. By better informing new individuals on the benefits and fun of the Stock Market and making sure they are ready to engage we feel the ROI and opportunities for both the current players and the newly listed player will be improved. Our goal is to increase retention on all four apps that make up Empire Avenue and a key application to us is the Stock Market.

In other words, by making the virtual stock market optional, EAv hopes the engagement level of those playing the virtual stock market will increase.

I suppose this is possible to some extent.  Certainly there are a lot of people who sign-up for EAv each day who never invest in anyone. If those people don’t “go public,” the average engagement level of those who do go public is bound to be higher.

But really, what difference does it make?  

Does it really matter if someone is automatically in the virtual stock market , has no activity and a dividend of 0.03e/share vs not in the stock market at all?   Not to me.

This announcement is a bit of a yawner if you ask me.

The biggest issue seems to be whether EAv will prevent users who have not “gone public” from doing missions that ask the mission doer to invest. People have been asking about that in the community discussion, but so far (16+ hours at the time of publishing) Dups & Co have been silent on this issue.

More to come…

The implications of this announcement seem minor, but by all accounts there are more, bigger announcements forthcoming. In all likelihood, this is more of a “housekeeping” change to pave the way for what’s coming next.