OPW - Aug 19 - In 2009, $2.2 billion in virtual goods were sold to consumers globally, and that number is expected to rocket to $6 billion by 2013. Although virtual worlds and MMOs have historically driven the growth in virtual goods, today the fastest growing segment is social games. Social gaming got its start in mid-2007 with the launch of the Facebook Platform. In 2009, social games generated $500 million revenue, primarily from social games on Facebook. There are nearly 150 social networks with over 1 million monthly uniques. When it comes to social games, smaller social networks, paradoxically, often have the benefit of size. Users of multiple social networks tend to split their time between Facebook and another social network. To these users, Facebook is an indispensable communication tool, but the other social network is essentially the local pub: A close knit community woven around shared affinities and experiences. Unlike advertising, which detracts from the social experience of a site, a successful social games strategy will simultaneously increase a site’s stickiness and significantly increase revenue.
Mark Brooks: Full disclosure. This article was written by Ravi Mehta, VP Product for Viximo, who are a former client of Courtland Brooks.