Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Top Social Networking Websites of 2011
This data was obtained from the E-Biz MBA website, validated by Alexa Global
Traffic Rank, and U.S. Traffic Rank from Compete and Quantcast. 5
#1: Facebook rules the roost with 750 million active users, as of the time
of this writing. Consider briefly the staggering size of such a market, then
the wealth of viral channels Facebook makes available, their unified currency
system, and the host of other features they provide developers, and it's easy
to see why Facebook is considered by many to be the number-one gaming
platform in the world right now.
#2: Twitter is the next most popular with 180 million active users. However,
though Twitter is almost a canonical definition of a pure social network, in
which users follow simple updates or “tweets” from other individuals within
their ecosystem, there's no real gaming possibility, as it's not a platform for
anything more than sending out text-based messages of up to 140 charac-
ters at a time. Although some users have developed “games” like scavenger
hunts, contests, goal-based flashmobs, and similar in Twitter, these aren't the
types of games we're concerned with here. But Twitter is critical for market-
ing and spreading news about social games, even if just for tweeting infor-
mation about the existence of a new game or changes in features that might
interest your community of players.
#3: LinkedIn is the professional's social network. Boasting just over 100 mil-
lion users who post messages related to jobs, articles of interest to a particu-
lar industry, or host discussions about varied professional topics, LinkedIn is
a superb place for literal “socially networking” in the traditional sense—to
advance one's career—but currently it doesn't offer a platform for gaming.
#4: MySpace is the perennial has-been of the social networking world. With
just over 80 million active users, MySpace tends to focus on music (band
pages are popular), television shows, and other types of entertainment
media (including some games). Once owned by the mighty News Corp.,
MySpace took off like a rocket in 2002 to become the most popular social
network in the world by 2006, a title it retained until 2008. Unfortunately,
hard-to-navigate pages, excessive user-customization, pages clogged with
advertising, and a super-saturation of real activities allowed Facebook to
overtake MySpace, and MySpace has never recovered.
MySpace does still offer a robust platform for game developers, however,
and it boasts a number of successful titles, including Millionaire City by
Digital Chocolate, the venerable Habbo Hotel , and a plethora of games by
Zynga and other top publishers (though many of Zynga's more successful
titles haven't made the jump to MySpace). The short of the matter is, with
5 http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites
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