FarmVille

Games are the new TV

Social Games like Farmville attract more active players than top TV shows in America have viewers. If engagement (recency, frequency, duration, virality and ratings) is factored in, it becomes even more obvious that social games are the new mass market medium.

The key to their success lies not only in the power of the Facebook platform, but also in games’ motivational design focus and clever business model. While the prognosis for TV advertising may look increasingly grim, companies big and small are leveraging the techniques of social games to energize their brands.

This process is called Gamification, and it promises to bridge the gap between diverse interactions’ utility and social games’ fun and engagement.

Social gaming trends for 2011

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.  

Google to gamers: come out and play?

Google is the 800 pound gorilla of the internet, but despite its prominence, it doesn’t have a large footprint in some of the internet’s most lucrative emerging markets, such as online gaming. But it might be looking to change that.

On Saturday, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington reported that Google has “secretly invested” $100m to $200m in Zynga, the maker of some of the internet’s most popular social games, including Farmville and Mafia Wars. According to Arrington, the investment is related to a new product Google is creating with Zynga’s help: Google Games.

Buy lettuce, get virtual currency

Has virtual currency jumped the shark, or has it become such a mainstream phenomenon that the ability to free virtual currency might be enough of an incentive to get some individuals to eat their broccoli? Social gaming company Zynga and Green Giant, the vegetable company owned by General Mills, are going to find out.

The unlikely pair have teamed up to offer purchasers of Green Giant products free virtual currency that can be used within Zynga’s most popular game — Farmville.

Facebook’s most popular app ever? It’s probably not what you think

If you had to guess what the most popular Facebook app on Facebook is, chances are you’re not thinking that it has anything to do with fruits, vegetables and cows. But you’d be very wrong. What is the most popular app on Facebook? FarmVille.

As the name suggests, FarmVille is a game that gives users the ability to “grow delicious fruits and vegetables and raise adorable animals” on their own virtual farms. With nearly 35m active monthly users and 12m active daily users, FarmVille has just about grown itself into the most popular Facebook application ever. When FarmVille surpasses 35,554,755 active monthly users, it will surpass the record set by the How Well Do You Know Me? application.