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Facebook's success hasn't only netted its founders, early employees and investors billions of dollars, the world's largest social network has built an ecosystem that has served as the foundation for other businesses collectively worth billions.
From large social gaming companies like Zynga all the way to individual developers building Facebook apps out of their bedrooms, Facebook's launch of a development platform in 2006 proved to be a game-changer for online entrepreneurs.
Of the few markets in which Flash is still relevant, gaming is perhaps the largest. Despite the fact that Adobe seems intent on killing Flash, for many game developers, Flash is still a necessity.
The big question, of course, is for how long? There's a lot of excitement about HTML5, and some game developers have actually been experimenting with HTML5 game development.
Rumors of social gaming's death may not be exaggerated.
There's been increasing discussion about the possibility social gaming has finally jumped the shark this year, and Zynga's big drop in daily active users sent investors in the social gaming giant rushing for the exits earlier this week.
After a rocky start, Facebook's life as a publicly-traded company has settled down a bit. Despite healthy skepticism about its prospects in light of a $100bn valuation, its stock price has stabilised (for now) while industry observers and investors are taking stock of its actual -- not hypothetical -- business.
But one of Facebook's best friends, social gaming giant Zynga, hasn't been so fortunate. Today, its stock plunged to under $5, its lowest level since the company went public last year.
In the market for farming supplies?
If you're looking for a new tractor or some seeds, American Express is hoping that you'll use one of its new prepaid cards to complete the purchase. On Farmville, of course.
We're just weeks away from the Facebook IPO, and today, the company filed an amended S-1 detailing the price it will seek for its shares.
According to that S-1, Facebook plans to sell some 337m shares at a price between $28 and $35. In this price range, the company will be valued at somewhere between roughly $75bn to $95bn.
Social gaming on Facebook may be past its prime, but don't tell social gaming juggernaut Zynga that casual gaming is.
The company, which went public late last year, yesterday reported $321m in revenue in the first quarter of 2012 -- its highest quarterly revenue figure ever. All told, bookings rose to $329m, up 15% year-over-year, while the $321m in revenue represented a more impressive 32% year-over-year increase.
One of the biggest drivers of Facebook's success has arguably been the rise of social gaming.
From Mafia Wars to Farmville, Facebook's platform has become a virtual gaming console of sorts for millions upon millions of consumers, creating a multi-billion dollar virtual currency opportunity for Facebook that it's exploiting with Facebook Credits.
An obsession with social gaming peaked in 2010, remained steady during 2011 and is only now starting to even out.
But just because the buzz has quietened, it doesn’t mean the growth rate is slowing.
Every year, digital marketers are delivered a fresh collection of new buzzwords, and one of the hottest in recent memory is 'gamification.'
Gamification, defined simply, is the addition of 'game mechanics' to a service. The rationale behind gamification is equally simple: by adding gaming components to a service, its operator can make the service as addictive as, say, Farmville.
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.
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...