Socialgamesobserver

The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets

30Oct/10

Facebook News This Week Part2: Security, Lawsuits and New User Features

By Sebastian Sujka

Inferential Ad Targeting Patent Filed By Facebook
Facebook has filed for a patent which lets the company direct ads to users or their friends, based on their taste or interests. A persons browsing habits on Facebook will also be used for ad targeting and help other advertisers to reach out to more customers, Facebook claims.

Flaw Found In Facebook Login-Security
An extension to Firefox called Firesheep allows the user to gain control over Facebook login cookies and log in as another user on an open Wi-Fi-network. This login cookie, which verifies the login-name and password, is not encrypted, a flaw that has been there for quite some time. “We have been making progress testing SSL access to Facebook and hope to provide it as an option in the coming months.  As always, we advise people to use caution when sending or receiving information over unsecured Wi-Fi networks”, a spokesperson from Facebook said when addressed with the problem.

Facebook Has Added A Spam Filter To Pages
A spam filter has been added to Facebook Pages, for pages allowing visitor posts. Facebook is hoping to reduce the amount of spam being posted, a problem that has increased in past few months. “We are now offering automatic content filtering on Page walls that will ensure that posts soliciting spam are removed from public view as well as ensure that posts containing good content remain more visible,” Facebook commented on the feature.

Facebook, A Bit Safer With BitDefender
BitDefender, well-known antivirus software developer has released a Safegoo App that helps users on Facebook with security issues. The application identifies personal information on the user’s account that is available to others, it also scans the user’s wall, inbox, comments and shared content for dangerous links. Malicious links will according to the developer be filtered out automatically.

Facebook Offers Canvas Encryption To Fix User ID Issue
Some time ago it was reported that some applications on Facebook leaked information about users to third-party companies. Facebook is now suggesting that a new system for encrypting the parameters passed to applications. The data sent out by applications would now be decrypted and the use of a decryption key would be necessary, for anyone wanting to read information about a user.

Facebook Places Now An Elections Game
Facebook users can now get points on Facebook Places, when writing personal endorsements posted on their wall or checking in at political campaign events. The game was developed by the son of a candidate up for election in Texas, as a way of seeing if people would get more active and engaged as citizens. Information on Facebook could someday be used as a way of reaching out to people with a specific political opinion the app developer said.

Changes In Facebook Game Discovery Feed Stories
When a friend starts to play a game their name and profile picture is now displayed to other friends playing the same game. Facebook does not want to spam non-players with non relevant posts, but the fact that their friends are playing might be relevant to these non-players. “The post about the game has no context, but the fact that they’re playing does”, Facebook developers commented on the changes.

Facebook Sues X-Rated Site Faceporn
Facebook is filing a suit against the x-rated site Faceporn because of name and design similarities. Facebook claims that Faceporn has copied the Facebook Wall, logo and site design. Facebook requests that Faceporn surrender the domain name and all revenues earned from it.

Facebook Users Can Now Turn Off Group Chat Function
By going to “edit settings” for a particular Group, users can chose to temporarily not receive group chat messages from that group. This is a feature that has been requested by many users since the new Group and Chat feature was launched.

Soon Users Can Change Their Page Name On Facebook
Facebook is working on a new Page administration area which includes the possibility for users with pages under a 100 fans, to change the name on their Facebook Page. Misspelled Fan Pages would no longer be and companies going through name changes could benefit from this feature.

29Oct/10

Facebook News This Week: Top Pages&Apps, Facebook Credits Gift Cards and Expansion in Asia

By Gary Merrett

Top 5 Most Liked Pages On Facebook Fall 2010
Entertainment generates a lot of money and interest, both on Facebook and in the “real world”. The top 5 list on most liked pages on Facebook this fall is dominated by music, television shows and games. “Texas Holdém Poker”, by Zynga dominates with a massive fan base comprised of 25.556.954 Likers. 2nd place is held by none other than Facebook itself, the company has managed to attract 23,617,053 Likers through its official page. 3rd place with 22.424.494 Likers is held by the Michael Jackson Page, the departed singer now more popular than ever. Lady Gaga’s official page is on 4th place with 21.329.592 Likers, and at 5th and final place the popular animated comedy series Family Guy resides with 19,898,829 Likers total.

Facebook Prompts Users To Add More Like Pages
Facebook is running a prompt which encourages users with few pages to add more pages, in order to be more socially active on the network and to generate more Likes. A part from the prompt Facebook also shows your Likes in common with your friends in order to make users more connective.

This Week’s Top Five Gaining Facebook Apps
“Instant Jam” is at this week’s number one with 689.892 monthly active users. At second place with 563.697 users is an application called “Chi Ti Segue”, which enables users to see which Facebook friends are online even if your chat is offline. In third place with 547.561 users we find “BRAAAINS”, giving the user control over a group of Zombies. “My Most Used Words” holds residence at number 4 with 946.677 users. Number five is inhabited by “Wheel Of Fortune”, an American game show with 641.360 monthly users.

The 5 Most Explosive Facebook Applications This Week
“Crime City” is at 1st place with 824.628 users, and lets the user become a mafia member. The search engine “Bing” is on 2nd place with 699.748 users, making it possible to search directly through Facebook. Zynga’s game “Warstorm”, a strategy game set in a fantasy world is on 3rd place with 451.136 users. “My Empire”, allowing users to create an empire, landed on 4th place with 439.992 users.  “Badoo”, the chat for meeting new people scored 377.468 users and settles for a 5th place.

Facebook Has Its Eyes On Thailand
In October last year, Facebook reported it had 5.4 million users in Thailand, a country which displays the third highest 12 month growth-rate, with an increase of 320 percent since last September. Facebook already has ways of reaching out to the general population because of deals with several big companies, and could, if successful increase its user-base with 66 million Thai.

International Growth And Vietnam On Facebook’s Radar
Facebook is hiring a Policy and Growth Manager in Vietnam in order to increase user levels and to maintain a steady growth world-wide. Facebook is experiencing problems in Vietnam due to policies issued by the government. Facebook is currently blocked and is inaccessible in 70 percent of the time, but the company is hoping to be able to reach out to government officials and create better relations in Vietnam.

New Micropayment Service Coming To Facebook
An easier way for users to manage micropayments directly through Facebook is on the way, and will be fully integrated later this fall. PayPal’s payment system for VirtualGoods, allows the user to pay directly, without having to leave the site or game they are in, making it faster and easier to use for gamers buying virtual goods. A small fee of $5 cents will be charged for transactions under $12 dollars.

Convert Gift Cards Into Facebook Credits
Gift card exchange service Plastic Jungle has launched a partnership with PayPal, allowing users to sell gift cards to Plastic Jungle. The goal is to offer a service where users can redeem gift cards online instead of mailing them. With the new system, gift cards can be converted into Facebook Credits much simpler and faster. 5-8% of all gift cards are not redeemed which translates into $30 billion in unused balances, money that could increase commerce if used.

Facebook Credits Gift Cards Now Available In Selected Stores
Facebook users can now buy Facebook Credit gift cards at Best Buy and WallMart, allowing the buyer to purchase special items for their games or applications. Allowing users to purchase Credits off-line is a big step for Facebook in their plans to expand the Credit system.

29Oct/10

AppStats Tuenti

By Thorsten Bleich
App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon TownerMetrogames2.859.791n/a
2.icon PooltasticMetrogames2.493.376n/a
3.icon My RainforestMetrogames1.471.297n/a
4.icon Texas lo GrandeMetrogames1.414.813n/a
5.icon BiotronicMetrogames1.134.811n/a
6.icon Frog StreetMetrogames1.008.539n/a
7.icon AquaballMetrogames899.319n/a
8.icon CatapultMetrogames802.879n/a
9. Jai LaiMetrogames540.187n/a
10. Fishing WarsMetrogames525.387n/a
11.icon Chess KnightMetrogames425.768n/a
12.icon Gold SweeperMetrogames398.152n/a
13.icon Magic SpidersMetrogames353.779n/a
14.icon Waka WakaMetrogames163.390n/a
15.icon Archer PigletsMetrogames159.124n/a
16.icon Pirates & CannonsMetrogames145.597n/a
17.icon AntivirusMetrogames145.562n/a
18.icon SlideMetrogames142.964n/a
19.icon PlockMetrogames140.182n/a
20.icon Prehistoric BubblesMetrogames122.714n/a
29Oct/10

Capcom to Launch Social Game Smurfs’ Village

By Gary Merrett

In anticipation of next summer’s 3D live-action/animated family comedy The Smurfs, game developer Capcom has announced that it will be releasing a social game for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch based on the beloved classic franchise, the Smurf. Smurfs’ Village tasks players with rebuilding the Smurfs’ village after it has been destroyed by Gargamel. Smurfs’ Village is the first in a series of entertainment projects based on the legendary blue creatures.

“Smurfs’ Village brings the fun and cooperative nature of social games to the charming world of the Smurfs for the first time,” said Midori Yuasa, President and COO, Capcom Interactive, Inc. “Every element in the village is full of detail, and players can take these building blocks, tap into their own creativity, and make something completely unique and wonderful to share with others.”

Based on the original cartoon and comic art, players begin the game under the guidance of Papa Smurf, with only a single mushroom house and a lone plowed plot of land. From there, things quickly progress, allowing players to build specialized houses, elaborate gardens with colorful crops, bridges to span running rivers, trodden paths, and more. Fan favorites like Papa Smurf, Smurfette, and Jokey Smurf will bring unique skills and perks to the village and users will be able to play mini games like Greedy Smurf’s Baking Game, Papa Smurf’s Potion Mixing Game, and Painter Smurf’s Painting Game and unlock additional bonuses. Players can also share the experience with their friends by linking their account to Facebook. Smurfs’ Village is expected to be available on the Apple App Store in November with regular content updates to follow.

29Oct/10

Appstats MySpace

By Kris Öst
App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon MobstersPlaydom14.917.585+0.12%
2.icon Mafia WarsZynga13.412.013+0.02%
3. Tag MeBitRhymes8.354.447+0.15%
4.icon YoVilleZyngan/a.n/a
5.icon Zynga PokerZynga7.218.647+0.05%
6.icon SuperPokePetsSlide7.088.474+0.02%
7.icon MoviesFlixter5.869.292+0.004%
8.icon Cheers!!BitRhymes5.613.245+0.08%
9.icon VampiresZynga5.236.222+0.25%
10.icon Street RacingZynga4.632.033-0.03%
11.icon GiftsGifts4.556.163-0.08%
12.icon What’s Your Street ReputationOxylabs3.842.400+0.68%
13.icon Sorority LifePlaydom3.689.463+0.03%
14.icon How Well Do You Know Me?BitRhymes3.613.945+0.03%
15.icon Poker PalacePlaydom3.447.411+0.01%
16.icon Truth BoxBitRhymes3.346.156+0.06%
17.icon Let’s Get MarriedLudicBits3.217.684+0.41%
18.icon My ImpressionBitRhymes2.889.488+0.19%
19.icon OverdrivePlaydom2.698.327+0.03%
20.icon Speed RacingMekatek2.589.906+0.003%
28Oct/10

VZ Network’s Games & App iPhone Integration: Q&A with VZ Games Manager Sebastian Kriese

By Sebastian Sujka

Apps and Games are now available via the VZ iPhone-App. In order to provide this service VZ has added a mobile view to the OpenSocial access point. Several functions that are already offered on the website are now available via mobile. To find out more we had a quick questions and answers session with VZ Games Manager Sebastian Kriese.

SocialGamesObserver: Can you elaborate a bit on the possibilities of the VZ Mobile App?

Sebastian Kriese -VZ Networks Strategic Partnerships

Sebastian Kriese: With this launch our users have a clear advantage in that they can continue to play via mobile even when they are not at home. The users will have identical scores in web and mobile. Moreover this allows new ways of gaming such als location-based-games for example – “who is nearby and wants to play with me?”. This launch will also be beneficial for developers: Their games are now available to 1.000.000 monthly active mobile users. Last but not least, this will result in activity growth for VZnetworks.

SGO: Who were the first movers to use the platform?

Sebastian Kriese: The first movers were big game developers such as i-Jet with “City Gangs” and Plinga with “PetParty”.

SGO: Which of the three networks do you expect to perform best?

Sebastian Kriese: We expect the highest level of activity via iPhone from our meinVZ users and from schülerVZ via iPod touch.

SGO: Can the App increase the virility of games?

Sebastian Kriese: Yes, this will result in a greater reach and new mobile opportunities.

SGO: How difficult is it to translate games for the iPhone and what are the main issues that arise?

Sebastian Kriese: It is quite easy for HTML games, unfortunately the iPhone does not support Flash, therefore new views need to be developed.

28Oct/10

Appstats Hi5

By Kris Öst
App Name Developer Installs Gain %
1.icon Barn BuddyThe Broth2.804.629-3.27%
2.icon Organized CrimeSocial Moray184.406-9.35%
3.icon Fantasy KingdomsSneaky Games132.963-19.31%
4.icon FarmeramaBigpoint103.705-23.76%
5.icon Cube CrashOcean Breeze Games100.040-22.65%
6.icon Backyard MonstersCasual Collective73.940+0.85%
7.icon Happy LagoonMinsh70.236-0.59%
8. PortCasino PokerPortalarium54.055+7.93%
9.icon Resort Worldgameinsight48.003new
10.icon JumperGamesworld46.064-20.71%
27Oct/10

AppStats NK

By Sebastian Sujka
App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon Icy TowerPlinga2.559.964+1.77%
2.icon Pet PartyPlinga2.286.051+4.15%
3.icon Happy HarvestElex2.050.261+2.55%
4.icon Maffiai-Jet1.579.032+1.49%
5.icon Crazy CharlyPlinga983.733+2.39%
6.icon Moja Szkolai-Jet921.474+1.78%
7.icon General Hospitali-Jet905.249+2.02%
8.icon FuntrisPlinga874.835+2.49%
9.icon Turtle SquadPlinga758.878+2.58%
10.icon Swiat DanioDanio616.335+2.38%
11.icon West Trainsi-Jet598.857+19.40%
12.icon Texas Hold ém PokerPlinga490.275+10.82%
13.icon SeafightBigpoint251.389+3.78%
14.icon DarkOrbitBigpoint241.184+4.78%
26Oct/10

AppStats Grono

By Gary Merrett
App Name Developer Installs Gain in %
1.icon Super Mario FlashOopa651.593+0.14%
2.icon BloonsNinja Kiwi322.979+0.23%
3.icon TetrisNeave254.965+0.28%
4.icon Fun Fun Candyfun2fun162.445+0.19%
5.icon BilliardAxifer152.385+0.31%
6.icon CollapseUltimate Aracade, Inc114.707+0.34%
7.icon PapparaziPeerflix85.893+0.11%
8.icon SonicDennis-Gid81.879+0.14%
9. SurgeryNeomedia80.071+0.19%
10.icon Flight of the HamstersKids Next Door Games78.271+0.27%
11.icon Globetrotter XLDschini70.233+0.16%
12.icon Bombay TaxiAddicting Games63.826+0.19%
13.icon HomedrunkKilltime Games58.395+0.16%
14.icon Puzzle BobbleTaito57.002+0.26%
15.icon Pac ManNeave56.099+0.15%
16.icon Super Stacker 2Gaz52.384+0.60%
17.icon Tennis GameGamedesign44.711+1.07%
18.icon City Racers 2Rawcade42.880+0.13%
19.icon BuggyPankaj40.105+0.09%
20.icon Mad MondayMausland Entertainment39.299+0.11%
25Oct/10

What Exactly is Comunio?

By Christoph Platt

Social games frequently cause a lot of confusion to people outside the business as there is no agreed on definition of what a social game really is and what differentiates it from a browser game, casual game, or an MMO – just to name some other labels. When it comes to social networks however, the case is usually pretty clear. With Comunio the case is different. It is hard to decide if it is a social game, a social network or none of the two. He talked to Maik Viefhues, Marketing Manager at Comunio, to find some answers.

SocialGamesObserver: To readers that do not know comunio, could you sketch the concept in a few sentences?
Maik: Comunio is a football online manager where several players can create and join their own small league. The goal of the game is to score best within the community. The season is simultaneous to the Bundesliga. The score is based on the real performances of the players and their teams. The winner is the one who scored best at the end of the season.

Maik Viefhues - Comunio Marketing Manager

SGO: Would you say Comunio is a social game, a social network, or none of the two?
Maik: Comunio launched in 2000 and offers a social way of gaming. You play with friends or other people. Your success depends on the behavior of your competitors. You can bargain, buy and sell football players to other users. You can discuss with friends and meet thousands of other people in our forum. Comunio is turn-based, interactive and social.

SGO: How many users and how many seperate communites do you have on Comunio right now?
Maik: Hundreds and thousands of people play Comunio today. We offer our football online manager in ten countries and cover the best football leagues of the world.

SGO: Are you considering cooperations of any kind with social networks like Facebook?
Maik: We launched our international Comunio fanpage on Facebook in 2009 (http://www.facebook.com/Comunio) . Today, we have more than 11.000 fans and the number is increasing daily.

SGO: Who would you consider to be competition (e.g. Kicker Buddies on Facebook)?
Maik: There are a numerous football manager games, however Comunio has the widest range of features and most individual game play. Apart from that, Kickerbuddies is no longer online.

SGO: Are you considering to integrate other games on your user-strong platform?
Maik: We offer manager games for other football leagues and special tournaments like the UEFA Champions League or the FIFA World Cup, but also a formula 1 manager (comuniogp.com) and a manager for winter sports (wintercomunio.com). This way of growth with its opportunities of cross-marketing is the one we prefer.
On Comunio.de we have integrated an own prediction game and a cup mode as an additional tournament to the league championship. We have also created a mobile version of Comunio.

SGO: Why did you switch from Kicker.de to Sportal in terms of grading players?
Maik: Sportal.de publishes their grades earlier than any other editorial site. Additionally it offers a complete service. Their grading is transparent and detailed. And in 2005 it was also a financial decision.

SGO: How do you calculate a player’s transfer value?
Maik: We work with a complex algorithm, but basically: When a player is bought from the computer, part of the difference between bid and market value are added to the football player’s former market value.  On the other side, if the computer places a football player on the exchange market an nobody buys the player, his market value will fall a little bit.

SGO: What innovations can we expect from Comunio in the future?
Maik: At the moment we are working on a notification system.