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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.
When 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.
Nielsen says people are spending more time online playing games than sending email – bringing new meaning to the phrase “everyone is a gamer.” How can marketers use the increase in gameplay to their advantage? For e-tailers, the goal should be to add gaming elements to the purchase process, also called “gamification.” That can be as simple as advertising in and around games, or as complex as revamping an entire Web site to include badges, points and virtual currency.
If it sounds like too much work, read on from some stats from Interpret that prove why gamers may be an e-tailer’s most coveted target demographic.
Charles Hudson is an expert on all things social gaming related, producing technology conferences focused on the intersection of gaming and social media, including the Virtual Goods Summit and the Social Gaming Summit. He's also currently working on a series of research reports on the virtual goods market, published at Inside Virtual Goods.
Prior to this, Charles was involved with various social gaming companies and start-ups, including Serious Business, a leading producer of social games for the social web (acquired by Zynga earlier this year) and Gaia Online, a leading online hangout for teens and young adults.
I interviewed Charles to find out more about social gaming, including the challenges and opportunities for businesses, and why marketers should be engaging with consumers on this channel.
In-game advertising is nothing new. From automotive giant Jeep advertising in Tomb Raider in 2007 (image below) to FarmVille based incentives from Bing this month.
The question is; how does it work? Have companies and game providers cracked the method of getting into our psyches to get us to do what they want?
(Image courtesy of Double Fusion)
Thanks to the rise of massive social networks, namely Facebook, and a multi-billion dollar virtual currency market, social gaming has become one of the hottest spaces on the consumer internet.
But there's another reason social gaming is so hot: it is putting the 'casual' back into the concept of 'casual gaming'. Through social games like Farmville and Mafia Wars, millions upon millions of non-gamers have become gamers. In the process, social games are potentially reshaping the gaming industry more broadly.