American Greetings Connects With Gen Y Via Kiwee.com

American Greetings may not be known for its affinity with digitally connected Generation Y. Yet through its digital content destination, Kiwee.com, the greeting card maker seems to be striking a chord with this equally valuable and elusive demographic.

"We provide expressive content," said Rajiv Jain, Kiwee's senior vice president and general manager. "These exciting growth numbers illustrate how our content resonates with young people."

In its first six months out of beta, Kiwee has attracted one million predominantly young consumers seeking unique graphics, emoticons, winks, display pictures, widgets and backgrounds to personalize their Web pages on a range of platforms, from Facebook and MySpace to Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and AOL Instant Messenger.

For publishers, distributed media strategies like this one have proven far easier to establish than a bona fide destination site like Facebook.

For instance, Flip.com, an ambitious social network launched by CondeNet last year, was recently abandoned as a destination and will exist only as a provider of content. By abandoning its destination strategy, CondeNet is hoping to draw a greater audience from its peak of 300,000 users.

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In December, Kiwee hit another milestone, delivering 500 million IM graphics downloads--a feat that company executives attribute to the Kiwee IM Toolbar, which provides 2D and 3D expressions specifically for the AOL, MSN and Yahoo instant messaging platforms.

The site is presently adding roughly 14,000 new members daily, and has tripled its number of unique visitors and page views from December to January.

"The teen and twenty-something demographic communicates with friends and family immediately on whatever platform reaches them fastest," said Jain.

Kiwee also manages a relationship with Microsoft for delivery of content to their Windows Live Messenger product in 15 countries and 11 languages.

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