social gaming

Facebook apps: there’s no such thing as a free audience

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.

Can Zynga wean itself off Facebook fast enough?

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.

Facebook sets IPO price range

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.

Zynga reports record revenue in Q1, but big loss

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.

Has social gaming on Facebook peaked?

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.

Profiling the social gamer: infographic

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.

Is gamification bulls!*t?

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.

Zynga IPO filing: breaking all the rules, and winning because of it

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.

Q&A: Samih Toukan, CEO of Jabbar Internet Group

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…