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Should games companies integrate MySpace, Facebook or Twitter in their games?

By on June 10, 2009

As I talk more and more to developers about self-publishing, I am becoming more convinced that tapping into user’s existing social networks is a powerful, cost-effective and viral marketing tool for many games.

I’ve tended to focus on Facebook Connect because a) Playfish have used it successfully in their iPhone apps and b) it’s the third-party I personally see most often in the wild Internet.

Venturebeat reports that Turner has released the results of an experiment letting users login using their MySpace, Facebook or Twitter accounts and chat to each other while watching either a NASCAR race or the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

  NASCAR   NBA
  Users Messages   Users Messages
Facebook 54% 37%   48% 53%
MySpace 27% 44%   40% 35%
Twitter 19% 18%   12% 12%

Venturebeat’s conclusion is that media owners should work with all three services until it becomes clear who the winner is. I’m not so sure. For most games companies, I suspect that simply integrating Facebook Connect will be enough to get the primary benefit of viral marketing. (Of course, for many developers including any social network at all is a big shift in thinking.)

I’ll be keeping an eye on the data – if MySpace stays in place, it might be worth incorporating that. But Twitter is not the same reciprocal social graph (some call it a one-to-many broadcast medium), so it is very low on my recommended implementation list.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com