Facebook App Consolidation Continues: SGN Acquires (fluff)Friends

As the Facebook Platform continues to mature, larger app developers are swallowing up smaller ones in a race to create economies of scale and barriers to entry. Tonight, Social Gaming Network announced that it is continuing that trend by acquiring (fluff)Friends, one of the most popular Facebook applications, for an undisclosed sum.

(fluff)Friends was one of the earliest successes on the Facebook Platform, launching when the Platform debuted in May of 2007. Founded by Mike Sego of Google and Julie Zhou of Facebook, (fluff)Friends had over 100,000 users one week after the Platform launched, making it the 14th most popular Facebook app one week in. Zhou has since stopped working on (fluff)Friends, presumably to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

Since then, (fluff)Friends has gone on to become one of the richest and most well developed apps on the Platform. (fluff)Friends lets users adopt virtual pets, interact with their friends’ pets, and earn virtual currency to spend on things like food and customizable habitats. Mike Sego has regularly appeared at industry panels on issues related to social game design discussing the game’s unique combination of virtual world, MMO, and social game characteristics.

SGN was likely attracted to the robust economy within (fluff)Friends, which is driven by a rich combination of incentivized user interactions, offers powered by Peanut Labs, and direct virtual currency purchase via Paypal. SGN says (fluff)Friends has seen a 192% increase in revenue per spender and a 143% increase in spend per transaction since January of this year. See Inside Social Games for more details on the (fluff)Friends economy.

“We are thrilled to welcome (fluff)Friends into the SGN family,” said Shervin Pishevar, CEO of SGN. “SGN believes in (fluff)friends community and we thrilled in investing in building (fluff)friends. This acquisition will help us continue to provide a unique social gaming experience for our Facebook users, as well as enhance our monetization capabilities across the network.”

The acquisition marks the next step in the battle between SGN and Zynga (and now RockYou) to build the biggest social gaming and application network on Facebook. The companies have been acquiring independent developers at a torrid pace throughout 2008:

With the acquisition, (fluff)Friends brings over 1 million monthly active users to the SGN portfolio.

Last month, SGN announced an investment by Bezos Expeditions. In May, the company raised a $15 million Series A round lead by Greylock Partners and Founders Fund.

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Leave a Reply

8 Responses to “Facebook App Consolidation Continues: SGN Acquires (fluff)Friends”

  1. Inside Social Games » SGN Acquires (fluff)Friends for Undisclosed Sum says:

    [...] the Facebook Platform continues to mature, larger app developers are swallowing up smaller ones in a race to create economies of scale and barriers to entry. Tonight, Social Gaming Network [...]

  2. Bret says:

    Dude, your reporting is so much more professional than mine. Props.

  3. Addy says:

    A lot of what made (fluff) so accessible was its lack of advertising in the recent months. I hope SGN don’t start plastering logos everywhere and making (fluff) impersonal, because those million regular users will start to drop for sure… Mike and Krystal listened to what we wanted the app to achieve, will SGN?

  4. Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Sept 16, 2008 says:

    [...] The Social Gaming Network swallows Fluff Friends A virtual pet game and community, “Fluff Friends” has been acquired by the Social Gaming Network (SGN) I visited them a few months ago in their small but growing Palo Alto [...]

  5. Web2.0 Wonders: SGN acquires small Facebook App development firms says:

    [...] As a good indication on the growing maturity of the Facebook App Market, Social Gaming Network acquired (fluff)Friends. Who’s next?http://www.insidefacebook.com/2008/09/16/facebook-app-consolidation-continues-sgn-acquires-flufffrie… [...]

  6. SGN Acquires Small Facebook App Development Firms says:

    [...] of the Facebook App Market, Social Gaming Network acquired (fluff)Friends. Who’s next?read more | digg [...]

  7. Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Sept 16, 2008 « digital pricepoints 2.0 says:

    [...] The Social Gaming Network swallows Fluff Friends A virtual pet game and community, “Fluff Friends” has been acquired by the Social Gaming Network (SGN) I visited them a few months ago in their small but growing Palo Alto [...]

  8. Christy says:

    Although it’s true that (fluff)Friends became popular, it is also starting to lose just as many people after the take over. Ever since the take over, a lot of (fluff)Friend items and habitats have become more gold orientated, and as a consequence, people are getting fed up with the greed and disgust that occurs on the forums. Krystal and the other moderators are fully aware of what is going on, however because Krystal can no longer just sit down with the owner as it is no longer Mike, our opinions haven’t been taken into as much consideration as with Mike. I’m not targeting SGN as a “bad” owner of (fluff)Friends, however because they are indeed a corporation, and they need to make money, many people no longer find (fluff)Friends as enjoyable as it used to be.

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