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at a prodigious rate. The site maintains an open policy to developers and
offers a wide array of tools for third-party “widget” (application) providers
or game makers.
#18: Multiply is a media-sharing social network with a current estimated
regular user base of 4.3 million. Multiply has a strong presence among
Southeast Asian users, particularly in the Philippines. Multiply is known for
being particularly responsive to user requests and feedback on the function-
ality and design of the site. Users are able to build custom blog-like pages
where they can share videos, music, and photos, which can then be shared
throughout their social network. Multiply also features a thriving online mar-
ketplace. Games are not a major component of Multiply.
#19: Sonico is a social networking site with a gaming focus geared toward
Latin American users. Sonico features a collection of free Flash games for
users, including a Simpsons-themed game. Although few of these games
show the sophistication of the current generation of Facebook games, there
are a large number of choices available. Interestingly, very few seem to fea-
ture monetization of any kind. Instead, Sonico's revenue seems to come pri-
marily from advertising. Sonico boasts over 4 million registered users.
#20: Google+ Between the time this topic began and the time it went to
press, Google jumped into the social network scene in a major way. Less
than a month after the launch of the site in beta, Google+ is reported as
having more than 18 million users. 8 Thus far, there are no games (or other
apps) available for Google+, but in early August 2011, a number of game
developers and publishers such as Electronic Arts, PopCap, and Angry
Birds creator Roxio announced products for the platform. In Google+,
“streams” are different channels of information to which users can elect to
pay attention. Analysis of the Google+ API code shows evidence of some
stub “Games Stream” features, suggesting that games on the platform will
exist as a separate “stream.”
6.4 Games Are Global
One thing that most readers will have immediately noticed in the previous list
is how many of the social networks are more prominent in other parts of the
world than they are in North America. Gaming is a global hobby, and it reg-
ularly seems to bridge cultural and socioeconomic divides. The demographics
of online gamers differ radically across different social networks and gaming
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