Gaming on Facebook
An overview of gaming on Facebook and social networks.
Social Media sites such as Facebook have been on the rise since the mid-2000’s and connecting people across the globe in a completely different way. What has helped to create an even more effective community are games such as Farmville and Frontierville by online gaming giant Zynga. It is estimated that 56 million people in the United States are involved with a social media game hosted by Facebook, and a recent study by NPD Group stated that approximately one out of five people above the age of six are involved in some form of online social gaming platform. This revolution in the social media community has brought unheard of revenues as well as a sense of community to people across the country.
In games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars players rely on people they have friended on Facebook to help them complete missions, acquire gifts to use in game, and to water their crops or weed their fields. This increases traffic on Facebook and creates a new interest in various games as friends tell friends off-line about the games they play. With more and more people creating Facebooks to connect to their friends, family, and colleagues this cycle of spreading interest has reached an all-time high in gaming activity. Part of this is due to the fact that nearly all games ask to publish news of your gaming activity on your wall and in the newsfeed of your friends for free advertisement space.
Not only has gaming created a new sense of connectedness across social media sites, the money being generated is far beyond what anyone had ever predicted. 2009 saw gamers spend a total of $2.2 Billion on in-game goods, with a total of $6 Billion expected in 2013 alone. 21% of game users have said that they either have, or plan to spend money on in-game goods in the near future, making business as good as its ever been for online developers. While this allows for Facebook to move away from strictly generating income based on ad-space, the ads posted on the site do not appear to be going away but rather 2011 saw a 34% increase in ads sold on Facebook. This would lead one to believe that ads are extremely effective, but is that the truth?
Ads sold on Facebook allow the poster to determine which age group, sex, country, and even which company’s employees they want to cater to. Then through a bidding process the person can decide how much they want to pay and the amount paid in relation to the suggestion generated by Facebook will determine how often the ad is shown. While ads are generally very often shown and end up on the side of thousands of Facebook social game pages, the click rate is very low. Generally less than 5% of people who see an advertisement on Facebook will click on the ad. While ad space on Facebook is very lucrative for Facebook, advertisers may want to save their money for more effective methods of advertisement.
Ultimately, gaming on Facebook has revolutionized the way people interact together. Through the breakthroughs in gaming giants such as Zynga and online casino Double Down people have had a completely new platform to communicate with people who share similar interests while bringing friends and families into their games creating a tighter-knit sub-community on Facebook. This trend has seen positive feedback from gamers and developers alike giving the impression that games on Facebook are here to stay and always looking to improve.