The IPO market is alive! From Yandex to LinkedIn, some of the most
prominent consumer internet companies in recent memory have gone public
recently, and more are on the way.
One of the most intriguing filed to go public late last week. Zynga, the
social gaming juggernaut which is responsible for modern-day hits like
Farmville, plans to raise $1bn.
Samih Toukan is Chairman and CEO at Jabbar Internet Group, the leading group of internet sites and web properties in the Middle East and North Africa.
In 2000, along with Hussam Khoury, Samih founded the Arab Internet services company, Maktoob as the world's first Arabic / English email service provider.
Following the subsequent acquisition of Maktoob by Yahoo, Samih founded Jabbar Internet Group, an integrated group of online companies and websites. The group’s assets extend from e-commerce sites to online games, to advertising products & search services.
I caught up with Samih to find out a little more about the companies within the Jabbar Internet Group, and the future of digital marketing in the Middle East...
Twitter may be one of the most popular platforms on which developers and
entrepreneurs are building applications, but in 2011, its relationship with developers has changed dramatically.
Last month, Twitter told developers that it should focus on developing
tools that don't play a role in the core user experience for
consumers. For the companies behind some of the most popular third party clients, the message was clear: thanks, but your services are
no longer needed.
Google has accomplished a lot in the mobile space thanks to its mobile operating system, Android, but when it comes to building a platform that developers want to develop for, Android still lags behind Apple.
Unlike Google, Apple has thrived at building an ecosystem in which consumers not only use applications, but purchase them.
There’s no denying it. Gamification is hot. We talked recently
with Gabe Zichermann, entrepreneur and author of “Game-Based Marketing,” about
how fun and gaming techniques are permeating every aspect of marketing, and
what it means for measurement.
As multichannel commerce becomes commonplace, it’s more important than
ever to focus on long-term engagement and coherence, creating a uniform,
satisfying customer experience across every platform.
Recently, Gamification has become an increasingly important part of this
mix, using game mechanics to enhance UX and guide user behaviour.
it’s done well, the rewards can be impressive; boosting engagement and
brand awareness as well as vastly increasing direct conversion,
shareability and repeat business.
But what exactly do we mean when we use the term? It’s important to
remember that gamification is a blanket phrase which can relate to
multiple levels of deployment.
Here’s a quick roundup of some points you should be aware of if you
are considering gaming as a marketing tool.
The rise of social networking has resulted in major shifts in the gaming industry. The rise of Facebook, in particular, has fueled the market for 'social gaming', creating huge opportunities. Most of these opportunities have, up until now, been seized in large part by upstarts like Zynga, which may be one of the fastest-growing companies ever.
But as social gaming matures, the old guard of gaming may find some golden opportunities of its own.
Social gaming exploded last year. More consumers are now playing these sorts of games online, and brands (ranging from SMEs and local businesses to blue-chips and multinationals) are beginning to invest in this space.
The sector is now worth close to £1bn, and is expected to show further growth in 2011.
This post, which coincides with the launch of our Social Gaming Smart Pack, contains a brief overview of social gaming, why it's important, and how it can be used for marketing.
Got points? Starting today, you can redeem them
for virtual items like cows in FarmVille or guns in Mafia Wars. In a
first-of-its kind deal, American Express has teamed with game-maker Zynga to
make its credit card rewards redeemable for virtual goods.
It’s the latest example of gamification – or the introduction of game
elements into non-game activities. There are reasons this commerce and gaming partnership works for AmEx and Zynga, but the deal could have implications for other
companies’ reward programs as well.
Thanks to the popularity of social networks and online communities, the social gaming industry is booming. It's no longer a niche sector, and online games are now popular with people of all ages and demographics.
In fact, contrary to long-standing stereotypes, a survey published earlier this year revealed that the average social gamer is a 43-year-old woman.
Social gaming is a fast-moving landscape, and becoming increasingly significant as consumers are spending a greater proportion of their time playing online games. As evidence of this, London hosted the first European Social Gaming Summit at Chelsea Football Club recently, which explored the evolution of this rapidly emerging sector.
At the Summit. I caught up with Simon Guild, Chairman of the Board at Bigpoint Games, to discuss the latest trends in online and browser-based social games and the future direction of the industry.