Tag Archives: Zynga

Social Networking Stats: 24% More Gamers Will Pay To Play on Facebook, #RLTM Scoreboard

The #RLTM Scoreboard:  Social Networking Stats for the Week

Facebook: 1 billion active users via Facebook
Twitter: over 500 million users via Twopcharts
Qzone: 599 million monthly active users via TechCrunch
Sina Weibo: over 400 million users via Yahoo
Renren: over 170 million users via iResearch iUser Tracker
VK: over 190 million users via VK
LinkedIn: 200 million active users via LinkedIn
Google Plus: 135 million monthly active users via Google
Tumblr: 100 million blogs via Tumblr
Instagram: 100 million users via Instagram
Tagged: 20 million unique monthly users via Tagged
Foursquare: nearly 30 million users via Adweek
Pinterest: over 25 million users via AdWeek
Reddit: 55 million monthly unique visitors via Reddit

Please email marissa@modernmediapartners.com if you have additional updates, or a social network that you feel should be on the list.

Social Gaming: 24% More Facebook Users Will Pay to Play

Candy Crush Saga Facebook GameAn emailed statement from Facebook earlier this week said the number of people paying to play games on the platform is up 24% from a year ago.

Facebook initially depended largely on gaming developer Zynga to provide games and bring in people who wanted to play. However, some social gamers became “alienated” or unhappy due to the “the barrage of marketing from [Zynga’s] programs.”

Changing tactics, Facebook has now distanced itself from Zynga and is encouraging more game developers to join the site.  According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Facebook paid a total of $2 billion to developers in 2012; last year more than 100 developers generated more than $1 million each in revenue on Facebook.

And it appears to be working: desktop-game users on the site rose from 235 million in October to now over 250 million.  As the number of gaming options continues to grow – and as Facebook maintains stricter controls on how much developers can market to users – how quickly will social gaming continue to expand on the platform?

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Lexus Uses Mobile Game ‘Draw Something’ To Target Younger Audience

Lexus Integrates Ads WIth Mobile Game Draw Something: Doodle of the DayLast week Lexus added to the brand’s ongoing campaign for the 2013 Lexus ES by integrating ads into popular mobile game Draw Something.  The aim was to draw a younger adult audience (under 45 years old) and to “engage this game’s huge fan base,” Lexus media manager Teri Hill told Adweek.

“It’s a really good way for us to do something that’s more youthful. It goes in line with who we are trying to reach—hyper-connected, digital enthusiasts who are influencers,”  said Hill.  By pairing with Zynga’s Draw Something – which has been downloaded 50 million times and has a large daily user base –  Lexus hoped to successfully target the younger, tech-savvy demographic.

Lexus reached players in several different ways via the mobile game.  In-game coins were awarded to players that made virtual drawings of Lexus-oriented items. Many of these drawings appeared on the Draw Something Facebook page, and there was a chance players could see their drawing featured as the “Lexus Stunning Doodle of the Day.” Adweek also reported that the brand was the first automotive advertiser on Draw Something to use brand-specific color schemes.

The campaign ran for a short period of time only, from September 24-28.  Why so brief?  Rosebel Chung, media supervisor at Team One, told Adweek “We wanted to ensure we’re hitting in a very high-impact way.”

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Will Social Gaming For Social Good Make A Difference?

WeTopia is a new online social game designed to raise money for children’s charities in the real world.  A first effort from Sojo Studios, it is a free-to-play Facebook game (meant to be part of a series) where players “create villages and help their neighbors.”  Designed to be fun for users while at the same time helping solve real-world issues, it’s the latest effort to turn social gaming into social good (social game maker Zynga has already donated millions to causes.)

 WeTopia Online Social Game For Social Good

How does playing the game translate into doing social good in the real world?

  • any purchase of virtual goods in the game results in a direct donation to a real world cause (ex buying a fountain in the game leads to a donation for clean water in the real world)
  • players can also earn ”joy” points by viewing sponsor ads (no purchase necessary)
  • sponsors then make donations to nonprofits that provide basic needs, healthcare, and education in the real world
  • players can track their contributions inside the game through pictures, videos, blogs and in-game posts

While some social games allow players to buy virtual goods with Facebook credits, only “a fraction of the cost” actually goes to aid programs, according to Games For Change,  a special interest group of Game Developers Conference.  With WeTopia, as players accumulate “joy” by playing the game, they can spend it on individual, real world campaigns.  Sojo has pledged that 50% of net profits will be donated to its charity beneficiaries.

Actual projects coming from these donations have already begun in the U.S. and Haiti; they will soon launch in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, as reported by VentureBeat.  The donations go through well-known charities including Save the Children, buildOn, and the Children’s Health Fund.  Brand partners include Clorox, Mattel and Dippin’ Dots.

The inspiration for WeTopia came from founder Lincoln Brown’s presence in Haiti after the earthquake, and a desire to improve how people can contribute to social causes in a transparent way.

Food Force benefits World Food Programme image via Games For ChangeAnother game for social good – called Food Force – was also launched the same week as WeTopia. A reboot of a successful game (with the same name) funded back in 2005 by the World Food Programme, the new version “takes full advantage of the social web” – players have to interact with each other in order to progress. Players can buy crops, send friends on missions and buy virtual goods, which boost performance in-game and directly fund WFP projects in the real world, according to Games For Change.  As with WeTopia, players can see what their purchases are doing for children, in this game with a “real-life impact tracker.”

Developed and funded by Konami Digital Entertainment, it is their first free social game offering.

Will social games designed to benefit people in the world catch on, and make a real difference?  The social gaming market is huge and growing rapidly – can game developers get users excited about creating real social change through their play?

 

 

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Zynga, Pizza Hut Use Social Games To Fight World Hunger

Zynga and Pizza Hut are teaming up to offer social good through social gaming.  Exclusive in-game items can be purchased for $5 on four popular Zynga games: FarmVille, CityVille, Empire & Allies and The Pioneer Trail.  The items help players in-game but also support the World Food Programme in real life.  According to Mashable, it’s the first time Zynga has partnered with a brand in this way.
Zynga Teams With Pizza Hut For World Hunger Relief 2011

Zynga Teams With Pizza Hut For World Hunger Relief 2011How does it work? Players are asked to contribute $5, and then will receive their choice of a ‘limited edition’ in-game item.

This partnership stems from Pizza Hut’s support of the annual World Hunger Relief campaign, which launched September 26. Pizza Hut’s website for the effort, “Share a Slice of Hope,” asks viewers to help raise the goal of $2.5 million for the United Nations World Food Programme.  Last year, over $2 million was raised through a similar campaign, which provided 8 million meals.

How much will in-game item purchases add up to help hunger victims?  We’re excited to get the stats on this campaign as they become available.  Will social good (plus “limited edition” items) tempt players into making enough purchases to make a difference? Can social gaming be an effective vehicle for donations?

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U.S. Social Gamers to Reach 68.7 Million in 2012

‘Social gaming exploded in 2010′, according to a report by eMarketer.  53 million US internet users, or 24% of the online audience, played social games such as Zynga’s FarmVille and CityVille at least once a month in 2010.

The social gaming audience will continue to grow over the next two years, reaching an expected 68.7 million social gamers in the US in 2012, representing 29% of US internet users. Continue reading

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