Why 230 Million People Played Games on Facebook Last Month
According to Facebook’s Director of Developer Products, Doug Purdy, 230 million people played games on Facebook in the last month. That’s more than two-thirds the population of the USA, and more than a quarter of Facebook’s 845 million users worldwide. According to the latest figures, the number of internet users who now play social games online has leapt up by 71% since 2010. So what’s driving this boom in social gaming?
Gaming has been moving in a more social direction since the internet brought us all closer together. The latest games consoles now have the ability to sync up to the internet, allowing players to battle it out together online. Increasingly, console users have been moving online, where it’s easier to play with friends, saying goodbye to the days when playing computer games was a solitary activity.
What games are the most popular?
Social media networks like Facebook make it even easier for friends to interact when they play games online. The most popular games on Facebook are currently casino-related, with over 13 million users actively playing casino games each month. While playing casino games like poker and slots at regular casino sites usually allows you to chat online while you play, dedicated Facebook apps like Jackpotjoy Slots feature far more interactivity, and fun, for players.
Games like Jackpotjoy Slots allow players to instantly update each other on their progress, sharing news of a big win, chatting live as they play free slots on Facebook, synching up to play tournaments together, and giving each other virtual coins and gifts – all of which helps to liven up games, as well as making it easier for genuine friends, rather than internet strangers, to hook up to play games together.
The only truly social aspect of playing games at a regular online casino lies in the live chat facility, and user forums, if they’re available. While players can make friends here and chat as they play, using a game that’s integrated into Facebook makes it possible to get to know more about your fellow players instantly. By browsing their profiles, you get a more in-depth look at who you’re playing with, making Facebook game users feel more secure when they play too.
What are the advantages of Facebook Games?
The fact that the games are easy to play, free, and instantly available in-browser or on your mobile, makes them far more accessible than their pay-per-play and expensive console alternatives. But cost isn’t the only advantage. Many Facebook users log in while at work, or when they have some time to kill, and these fun and frivolous games provide a way to do just that. As well as offering a fun respite from work, users’ top reasons for using Facebook gaming apps include mental stimulation, stress relief, relaxation and, of course, social interaction.
It’s the social aspect of the games available on Facebook that have helped them flourish. And the imagination of app developers has helped to create a hugely varied selection of games, designed to suit every kind of Facebook user. From Farmville to Words with Friends, each game can be played alone, but is so much more enjoyable when played with others, adding that competitive edge that makes games more involving.
With Facebook still the world’s top social networking site, being the site of choice for users in 126 out of 137 countries polled recently, the audience for casino games like Jackpotjoy Slots, through to role-playing games like Zombie Lane, remains strong. And with Zynga’s games, such as Farmville and Mafia Wars, accounting for 12 per cent of Facebook’s total income alone in February this year, both Facebook and games developers will be hoping that the social gaming relationship is here to stay.
Dale Boon is a business journalist and blogger, specialising in the social media and online gaming sectors.
- Tech Crunch, Aug 2012: http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/03/230-million-people-played-games-on-facebook-com-in-the-last-30-days/
- ViralBlog, Jan 2012: http://www.viralblog.com/social-media/why-social-games-are-so-popular-on-facebook/
- Mashable, June 2012: http://mashable.com/2012/06/11/international-social-networks/
- TechRadar, Aug 2012: http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/first-real-money-facebook-gambling-app-launches-1091385