Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
#14: Badoo is a Russia-based social networking and profile rating site that
is now run from London. Badoo is notorious for poor privacy standards and
for use of an invasive Facebook app accused of tricking users into reveal-
ing their personal information. Though Badoo claims over 119 million users,
other authorities suggest that the site may actually have closer to 7 million
active users. Badoo offers a version of Chat Roulette called Twister , in which
random webcam users are paired up for flirting. The site has a strong pres-
ence in Africa, Latin America, Spain, Italy, and France. Social gaming does
not seem to be a strong component of Badoo; instead, Badoo's revenue is
derived primarily from advertising and member user profile “upgrades,”
which grant participants access to additional features and make it easier for
users to meet each other.
#15: Bebo is a social networking site launched in 2005, acquired by AOL
in 2008, and sold off for pennies on the dollar two years later. Bebo boasts
just over 7 million regular users, most of whom focus on blogging. Users
are allowed to customize their pages to some degree and can include a
wide variety of third-party applications (including games) on their page.
Bebo also focuses on social gaming and is a member of the OpenSocial
community, a community that offers APIs, which make it easier for third
parties to develop applications like games. Although their total number of
users is small, Bebo's generally solid security reputation, focus on games,
and investment in developer tools and support make them a quality target
for social game developers.
#16: MyLife was formed as an amalgamation of several reunion and high
school alumni matchup sites that focuses on helping users reconnect with
old friends. As with many of these sites, reports on total number of users
varies greatly, but reliable tracking statistics suggest that MyLife has around
5.4 million regular users. Because MyLife focuses on helping users find peo-
ple, social games are not currently a component of the network.
#17: Friendster was an early entry into the social networking space and
remained a popular compliment to Facebook until recently. As of mid 2011,
the site has turned its focus almost exclusively to online social gaming
and dropped from 8.2 million registered users to around 1.2 million, but
retains around a million unique monthly visitors. Tremendously popular in
Asia—particularly the Philippines—Friendster describes itself as a “social
entertainment site” and openly states a goal of supplementing, rather than
competing with, Facebook. In a gesture of surrender, Friendster encour-
aged users to download any content they had posted on the site, and stated
that blogs, profile information, and the rest would be deleted by the end of
June 2011. Friendster is now in the process of reinventing itself as a pure
gaming and music hub, and currently features a web portal as well as a
mobile version with limited game access. Friendster allows users to log in
with their Facebook account and seems to be adding new games to the site
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