Game Development Reference
Overall User Base
As of mid-2012, shortly after its May IPO, Facebook has about 900 million monthly active users and 500 mil-
lion daily active users. Since the company reports that 20 percent of this user base is in the United States and
Canada, it's safe to estimate that more than 160 million Americans—that is, more than half the entire U.S. pop-
ulation—are on Facebook.
As for Facebook users who play Facebook games, the social network reports that 70 percent of active users also
use Facebook games and applications. So assuming 30-60 percent of them play games, it's reasonable to estim-
ate there are about 255 to 510 million users who play one or more Facebook games a month. This user base is
so large, it's also safe to say that it encompasses all the major demographics who use Facebook, from late teens
up to people in their 60s.
NOTE One example of Facebook gaming's wide demographics: According to AppData.com, Playdom's
hidden object game Hidden Chronicles has about 20 percent of fans who are in their mid-20s to mid-30s,
and about as many who are over 55.
Monetization rates for Facebook games tend to be between 2 and 9 percent of each game's player base. (In
other words, players who purchase and use Facebook Credits in a given game.)
Facebook's penetration rate in developed countries is really high, and therefore, growth in the developed world
is slowing. However, Justin Smith, a leading social media analyst at Inside Network, tells me that the social
network is now strongly growing in Brazil and India. At current growth rates, it's reasonable to forecast that
Facebook will have more than a billion users by 2013 .
And 30-60 percent of these users will be playing Facebook games.
Facebook also has strong traction in other emerging markets in southern Asia, although Facebook may lose
share in Asian markets if local social networks, such as China's Sina Weibo and Japan's mixi, maintain their
Surveying the Web Game Market
Finally, here's the big picture of web games, sometimes overlooked by game developers and the tech industry
but still quite large.