Facebook Updates Formula for Counting Active Users

Today, Facebook announced that, along with the redesigned permissions dialog it introduced at f8, it’s also making a change to the way it counts active users on canvas applications to only count those who are logged in as active users. This means that users who hit the permissions dialog but choose to not authenticate the app, or who visit the app without logging in (for those apps that allow that behavior), will no longer be included in active user counts.

Thus, because most apps at least have users who see the permission dialog but don’t log in, we are expecting to see a one-time decline in those stats as documented on AppData.com associated with this change. This will appear in AppData starting 15 October. It’s important to note that this change doesn’t correlate to any actual change in traffic to apps. The numbers will now simply no longer include users who don’t log in. Facebook says this change will not affect Connect apps or Page tabs.

Since the Facebook Platform launched in 2007, Facebook has updated the methodology it uses to count active users for platform applications a few times. For example, last August, Facebook tweaked its formula to no longer include people who like or comment on feed items shared by applications. As we said at the time regarding that change, “We think this change to the way Facebook calculates active users for applications makes a lot of sense. People who like or comment on stream content published by an app shouldn’t be counted as active users like canvas page viewers are.”

Similarly, we think this update by Facebook is a good one, as it will mean that the active user counts now more accurately reflect actual “active usage” of applications. People who choose not to log in to applications, but bounce from the permissions dialog, should not be counted as active users.

Facebook Introduces New Timeline Publishing Permissions Model for Apps

The Facebook Platform application permissions framework and UI has undergone many changes throughout the last few years. In the beginning, before there were many constraints on developers publishing content into the News Feed, developers took advantage of the opportunity to publish more content than many users wanted. As a result, most recently, Facebook has adopted a stricter stance on permissions, requiring users to manually post content into the stream through the Share dialog.

Today, Facebook announced a new permissions dialog along with the launch of the new profile timeline that once again allows users to authorize developers one time to post content to their profile on an going basis. However, in this version of the permissions model, the up-front authorization only applies to posting activity to the timeline — i.e. these stories will not appear in a user’s friends’ News Feeds. We’ll have more details on the way this applies to existing app permissions soon.

Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012, Is Here

2011 will be remembered as the year that Zynga filed for its IPO, Google launched Google+, and Facebook executed the Credits transition. With the first potential social gaming IPO, Zynga plans to raise up to $2 billion to fund its continued global expansion. Meanwhile, Google is putting its weight behind what appears to have the potential to be the most serious competitor to Facebook as a social gaming platform in North America since the demise of MySpace. And at the same time, developers are still navigating through the Facebook Credits migration, while many are also expanding substantially onto mobile platforms to increase growth and expand reach.

Get the Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495

OR Buy Single Report: $995

Inside Network is proud to announce a new original research report by Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that is exclusively focused on the future of the social gaming market, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012. This is Inside Network’s third annual edition of the Future of Social Gaming report. The big picture? The social gaming market will reach $1.6 billion overall in 2012.

How big is the market, and where will social gaming go in 2012? How will existing players fare as Facebook Credits shifts the social gaming landscape and continued changes to the platform? Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012 provides deeper insight into social game monetization, development, customer acquisition, and the key questions facing the space in 2012 than you’ll find anywhere else.

About the Report

Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012 gives you an inside view of the future at this critical juncture in the intersection of social networking and online games.

We have compiled months of original research from dozens of top executives and entrepreneurs from all parts of the social gaming ecosystem to produce eye-opening source data and analysis that is not available anywhere else. Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2010 takes the closest look at the present state of social games and the future of this strong but still rapidly changing industry.

What We Cover

  1. Facebook Credits and the New Monetization Landscape: Early Results - Now that the transition to Facebook Credits was completed on July 1, what are the early results that developers are reporting? We take an in depth look at metrics and trends.
  2. Will 2012 (Finally) be the Year of Mobile Social Games? – Now that mobile games monetizing through the virtual goods model are becoming a bigger market in the US and around the world, many social game developers have expanded their efforts to tap these new platforms as well.  Will 2012 finally be the year that social games take significant root on mobile?
  3. Social Game Development and Design – How do small, medium, and large developers organize their teams? What do development cycle times for original titles and “expansion packs” look like? What is the role of testing and metrics in the development process? A few key game genres with proven mechanics and monetization have spawned dozens of fast followers. Understand how publishers are continuing to innovate as we head into 2012.
  4. Monetization Data and Payment Trends– Now that developers have proven the virtual goods model, what are ARPUs, ARPPUs, and LTVs really like for different game genres? What is the lifetime value of users, and how long do players stick around? We take an in depth look at monetization methods and rates, and shed light on where payments are headed in the coming quarters.
  5. Customer Acquisition and Marketing Trends – As the social gaming landscape has evolved over the past four years, so have the ways that developers acquire and retain new users. How have user acquisition costs changed, and what do Facebook’s changes spell for the future of the marketing funnel? We take an in depth look at data and trends.
  6. Facebook’s Platform Changes, and What’s In Store for the Future – Facebook has continued to change Platform communication channels and functionality over the last year, significantly altering the way social games reach users through Facebook. Continued change is likely – what will it be, and how will it impact the industry? Finally, will we see another platform (like Google+) emerge? Our overview covers these developments, their impact on the industry, and what else is in store.

What you get

In addition to our deep dive into key aspects of the social gaming ecosystem, the report also offers extended coverage on:

  • A brief history on the evolution and growth of this space in the US, including a description of all key players and how they rose to the top.
  • Total social gaming market size estimates for 2012.
  • Our take on the key issues facing the growth of social gaming, including our outlook and projections for 2012.

See the full table of contents below:

Table of Contents








More Data, More Actionable Insights

In 2011, social games continued to show what kind of value can be created on top of social networks. 2012 will be an even more important year.

Social gaming, powered by virtual goods, continues to expand. If you’re involved, or are considering jumping in, Inside Virtual Goods will be one of your most important tools.

One year of original data and exclusive in-depth reports delivered on a quarterly basis is $2,495 and contains:

  • A detailed overview of the current state of the industry
  • Specific estimates on market size by segment
  • Diagnosis of key opportunities and issues by segment

About the Authors

charles-hudson-headshotCharles Hudson

Venture Partner, SoftTech VC, CEO and Co-Founder, Bionic Panda Games

Charles Hudson is a Venture Partner with SoftTech VC and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games company based in San Francisco, CA.

Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games. Zynga acquired Serious Business in February of 2010. Prior to Serious Business, Hudson worked at Gaia Interactive, Google, IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel. Hudson also founded Third Power LLC, a conference and events company that was acquired by WebMediaBrands. Charles holds an MBA and BA from Stanford University.

justin-smith-headshotJustin Smith

Founder, Inside Network

Justin Smith is the founder of Inside Network, the first service dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem. Justin leads Inside Network’s analyst services, manages Inside Network’s AppDataservice, and serves as co-editor of Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games. Inside Network was acquired by WebMediaBrands (NASDAQ:WEBM) in May 2011.

Prior to Inside Network, he was Head of Product at Watercooler, now Kabam, a leading social game developer on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Watercooler, Justin was an early employee at Xfire, the largest social utility for gamers, which was sold to Viacom in 2006.

Justin holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Mayfield Fellow and a recipient of the Terman Award in Engineering.

Get The Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495

OR Buy Single Report: $995

Company Index: 50 Cubes, 51.com, 6waves Lolapps, A Bit Lucky, Activision, AddictingGames, AdParlor, Aeria Games, Amazon, Aol, Apple, Applifier, Appstrip, Arkadium, Atari, Aurora Feint, Bebo, BigFish Games, Bigpoint, Blackhawk, Boku, Booyah, Boyaa, Broken Bulb Studios, Cafe.com, Cie Games, CrowdStar, DeNA, Digital Chocolate, Digital Sky Technologies, Disney, Electronic Arts, ELEX, Facebook, Five Minutes, Friendster, Funsockets, Funzio, Gambit, GameClosure, GameDuell, GameHouse, Gameloft, Glu, GMG Entertainment, Google, Gree, Grey Area Labs, GSN, Happy Elements, HeyZap, Hi5, InComm, iWin, Kabam, Kaixin001, Kongregate, Kontagent, Microsoft, MindJolt, Mixi, MSN, MySpace, News Corporation, Nexon, ngmoco, Nintendo, OMGPOP, Orkut, Papaya Mobile, PaymentPin, PayPal, Peanut Labs, Playdom, Playfirst, Playfish, PlaySpan, Pocket Gems, Pogo, PopCap Games, QZone, Real Networks, Red ROot Labs, Rekoo, RenRen / Xiaonei, Rixty, RockYou!, Scoreloop, SGN, Shanda, Slashkey, Slide, Sometrics, Sony, SponsorPay, Storm8, Super Rewards (Adknowledge), SupersonicAds, Target, Tencent, The9, TheBroth, TinyCo, TokenAds, TrialPay, Twitter, Ubisoft, Viacom, Viximo, VKontakte, Wooga, Yahoo, Zong, Zynga

Last Week to Pre-Order Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012

2011 will be remembered as the year that Zynga filed for its IPO, Google launched Google+, and Facebook executed the Credits transition. With the first potential social gaming IPO, Zynga plans to raise up to $2 billion to fund its continued global expansion. Meanwhile, Google is putting its weight behind what appears to have the potential to be the most serious competitor to Facebook as a social gaming platform in North America since the demise of MySpace. And at the same time, developers are still navigating through the Facebook Credits migration, while many are also expanding substantially onto mobile platforms to increase growth and expand reach.

Get the Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*

OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends September 19, 2011. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on September 20, 2011.

Inside Network is proud to announce a new original research report by Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that is exclusively focused on the future of the social gaming market, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012. This is Inside Network’s third annual edition of the Future of Social Gaming report. It will be released on September 20, but is available for discount pre-order now.

How big is the market, and where will social gaming go in 2012? How will existing players fare as Facebook Credits shifts the social gaming landscape and continued changes to the platform? Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012 provides deeper insight into social game monetization, development, customer acquisition, and the key questions facing the space in 2012 than you’ll find anywhere else.

About the Report

Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012 gives you an inside view of the future at this critical juncture in the intersection of social networking and online games.

We have compiled months of original research from dozens of top executives and entrepreneurs from all parts of the social gaming ecosystem to produce eye-opening source data and analysis that is not available anywhere else. Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2010 takes the closest look at the present state of social games and the future of this strong but still rapidly changing industry.

What We Cover

  1. Facebook Credits and the New Monetization Landscape: Early Results - Now that the transition to Facebook Credits was completed on July 1, what are the early results that developers are reporting? We take an in depth look at metrics and trends.
  2. Will 2012 (Finally) be the Year of Mobile Social Games? – Now that mobile games monetizing through the virtual goods model are becoming a bigger market in the US and around the world, many social game developers have expanded their efforts to tap these new platforms as well.  Will 2012 finally be the year that social games take significant root on mobile?
  3. Social Game Development and Design – How do small, medium, and large developers organize their teams? What do development cycle times for original titles and “expansion packs” look like? What is the role of testing and metrics in the development process? A few key game genres with proven mechanics and monetization have spawned dozens of fast followers. Understand how publishers are continuing to innovate as we head into 2012.
  4. Monetization Data and Payment Trends– Now that developers have proven the virtual goods model, what are ARPUs, ARPPUs, and LTVs really like for different game genres? What is the lifetime value of users, and how long do players stick around? We take an in depth look at monetization methods and rates, and shed light on where payments are headed in the coming quarters.
  5. Customer Acquisition and Marketing Trends – As the social gaming landscape has evolved over the past four years, so have the ways that developers acquire and retain new users. How have user acquisition costs changed, and what do Facebook’s changes spell for the future of the marketing funnel? We take an in depth look at data and trends.
  6. Facebook’s Platform Changes, and What’s In Store for the Future – Facebook has continued to change Platform communication channels and functionality over the last year, significantly altering the way social games reach users through Facebook. Continued change is likely – what will it be, and how will it impact the industry? Finally, will we see another platform (like Google+) emerge? Our overview covers these developments, their impact on the industry, and what else is in store.

What you get

In addition to our deep dive into key aspects of the social gaming ecosystem, the report also offers extended coverage on:

  • A brief history on the evolution and growth of this space in the US, including a description of all key players and how they rose to the top.
  • Total social gaming market size estimates for 2012.
  • Our take on the key issues facing the growth of social gaming, including our outlook and projections for 2012.

More Data, More Actionable Insights

In 2011, social games continued to show what kind of value can be created on top of social networks. 2012 will be an even more important year.

Social gaming, powered by virtual goods, continues to expand. If you’re involved, or are considering jumping in, Inside Virtual Goods will be one of your most important tools.

One year of original data and exclusive in-depth reports delivered on a quarterly basis is $2,495 and contains:

  • A detailed overview of the current state of the industry
  • Specific estimates on market size by segment
  • Diagnosis of key opportunities and issues by segment

About the Authors

charles-hudson-headshotCharles Hudson

Venture Partner, SoftTech VC, CEO and Co-Founder, Bionic Panda Games

Charles Hudson is a Venture Partner with SoftTech VC and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games company based in San Francisco, CA.

Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games. Zynga acquired Serious Business in February of 2010. Prior to Serious Business, Hudson worked at Gaia Interactive, Google, IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel. Hudson also founded Third Power LLC, a conference and events company that was acquired by WebMediaBrands. Charles holds an MBA and BA from Stanford University.

justin-smith-headshotJustin Smith

Founder, Inside Network

Justin Smith is the founder of Inside Network, the first service dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem. Justin leads Inside Network’s analyst services, manages Inside Network’s AppDataservice, and serves as co-editor of Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games. Inside Network was acquired by WebMediaBrands (NASDAQ:WEBM) in May 2011.

Prior to Inside Network, he was Head of Product at Watercooler, now Kabam, a leading social game developer on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Watercooler, Justin was an early employee at Xfire, the largest social utility for gamers, which was sold to Viacom in 2006.

Justin holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Mayfield Fellow and a recipient of the Terman Award in Engineering.

Get The Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*

OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends September 19, 2011. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on September 20, 2011.

Although the report will not be released until next Tuesday, September 20, we are offering a special pre-order discount for those who purchase now. A one year subscription is $1,995 until September 19, at which point the price will go to US $2,495. The one year subscription includes three quarterly updates on key developments in the space.

Or, you can download just this report. The pre-order price is $795 until September 19, at which point the price will go to US $995.

Announcing Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012

2011 will be remembered as the year that Zynga filed for its IPO, Google launched Google+, and Facebook executed the Credits transition. With the first potential social gaming IPO, Zynga plans to raise up to $2 billion to fund its continued global expansion. Meanwhile, Google is putting its weight behind what appears to have the potential to be the most serious competitor to Facebook as a social gaming platform in North America since the demise of MySpace. And at the same time, developers are still navigating through the Facebook Credits migration, while many are also expanding substantially onto mobile platforms to increase growth and expand reach.

Get the Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*

OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends September 19, 2011. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on September 20, 2011.

Inside Network is proud to announce a new original research report by Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that is exclusively focused on the future of the social gaming market, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012. This is Inside Network’s third annual edition of the Future of Social Gaming report. It will be released on September 20, but is available for discount pre-order now.

How big is the market, and where will social gaming go in 2012? How will existing players fare as Facebook Credits shifts the social gaming landscape and continued changes to the platform? Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012 provides deeper insight into social game monetization, development, customer acquisition, and the key questions facing the space in 2012 than you’ll find anywhere else.

About the Report

Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012 gives you an inside view of the future at this critical juncture in the intersection of social networking and online games.

We have compiled months of original research from dozens of top executives and entrepreneurs from all parts of the social gaming ecosystem to produce eye-opening source data and analysis that is not available anywhere else. Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2010 takes the closest look at the present state of social games and the future of this strong but still rapidly changing industry.

What We Cover

  1. Facebook Credits and the New Monetization Landscape: Early Results - Now that the transition to Facebook Credits was completed on July 1, what are the early results that developers are reporting? We take an in depth look at metrics and trends.
  2. Will 2012 (Finally) be the Year of Mobile Social Games? – Now that mobile games monetizing through the virtual goods model are becoming a bigger market in the US and around the world, many social game developers have expanded their efforts to tap these new platforms as well.  Will 2012 finally be the year that social games take significant root on mobile?
  3. Social Game Development and Design – How do small, medium, and large developers organize their teams? What do development cycle times for original titles and “expansion packs” look like? What is the role of testing and metrics in the development process? A few key game genres with proven mechanics and monetization have spawned dozens of fast followers. Understand how publishers are continuing to innovate as we head into 2012.
  4. Monetization Data and Payment Trends– Now that developers have proven the virtual goods model, what are ARPUs, ARPPUs, and LTVs really like for different game genres? What is the lifetime value of users, and how long do players stick around? We take an in depth look at monetization methods and rates, and shed light on where payments are headed in the coming quarters.
  5. Customer Acquisition and Marketing Trends – As the social gaming landscape has evolved over the past four years, so have the ways that developers acquire and retain new users. How have user acquisition costs changed, and what do Facebook’s changes spell for the future of the marketing funnel? We take an in depth look at data and trends.
  6. Facebook’s Platform Changes, and What’s In Store for the Future – Facebook has continued to change Platform communication channels and functionality over the last year, significantly altering the way social games reach users through Facebook. Continued change is likely – what will it be, and how will it impact the industry? Finally, will we see another platform (like Google+) emerge? Our overview covers these developments, their impact on the industry, and what else is in store.

What you get

In addition to our deep dive into key aspects of the social gaming ecosystem, the report also offers extended coverage on:

  • A brief history on the evolution and growth of this space in the US, including a description of all key players and how they rose to the top.
  • Total social gaming market size estimates for 2012.
  • Our take on the key issues facing the growth of social gaming, including our outlook and projections for 2012.

More Data, More Actionable Insights

In 2011, social games continued to show what kind of value can be created on top of social networks. 2012 will be an even more important year.

Social gaming, powered by virtual goods, continues to expand. If you’re involved, or are considering jumping in, Inside Virtual Goods will be one of your most important tools.

One year of original data and exclusive in-depth reports delivered on a quarterly basis is $2,495 and contains:

  • A detailed overview of the current state of the industry
  • Specific estimates on market size by segment
  • Diagnosis of key opportunities and issues by segment

About the Authors

charles-hudson-headshotCharles Hudson

Venture Partner, SoftTech VC, CEO and Co-Founder, Bionic Panda Games

Charles Hudson is a Venture Partner with SoftTech VC and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games company based in San Francisco, CA.

Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games. Zynga acquired Serious Business in February of 2010. Prior to Serious Business, Hudson worked at Gaia Interactive, Google, IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel. Hudson also founded Third Power LLC, a conference and events company that was acquired by WebMediaBrands. Charles holds an MBA and BA from Stanford University.

justin-smith-headshotJustin Smith

Founder, Inside Network

Justin Smith is the founder of Inside Network, the first service dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem. Justin leads Inside Network’s analyst services, manages Inside Network’s AppDataservice, and serves as co-editor of Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games. Inside Network was acquired by WebMediaBrands (NASDAQ:WEBM) in May 2011.

Prior to Inside Network, he was Head of Product at Watercooler, now Kabam, a leading social game developer on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Watercooler, Justin was an early employee at Xfire, the largest social utility for gamers, which was sold to Viacom in 2006.

Justin holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Mayfield Fellow and a recipient of the Terman Award in Engineering.

Get The Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*

OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends September 19, 2011. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on September 20, 2011.

Although the report will not be released until next Tuesday, September 20, we are offering a special pre-order discount for those who purchase now. A one year subscription is $1,995 until September 19, at which point the price will go to US $2,495. The one year subscription includes three quarterly updates on key developments in the space.

Or, you can download just this report. The pre-order price is $795 until September 19, at which point the price will go to US $995.

Zynga’s IPO Means More Visible Feedback for Facebook’s Platform Product and Policy Teams

Since the Facebook Platform’s launch four years ago in May 2007, the company has made many changes to its Platform APIs and Platform policies that have had significant ramifications for all developers in the Facebook ecosystem. And when Zynga goes public, the temperature of broader market’s perception of ramifications of changes that happen after that point will become much more visible.

For example, here are a few of the bigger changes to date:

In general, when Facebook has made these changes, it has received feedback from developers through a variety of channels, including direct feedback to Facebook’s (relatively small) team of developer relationship managers, group meetings with larger developers concerned about specific changes, and public channels like the developer forums and comments here.

Less visibly, updates to Facebook’s broader Platform product and policy direction have clearly impacted the private financial markets as well. Funding has become harder to come by for many small developers over the last 18 months, though some larger and growing developers have still been raising money at healthy valuations.

However, when Zynga’s IPO occurs, the market will become the most visible real-time feedback channel yet for Facebook’s Platform product and policy teams. Although a couple of smaller developers, like SNAP Interactive, are listed (in STVI‘s case on the OTCBB), Zynga will be the first large independent developer of social games on Facebook (and thus a company whose fortune depends to a relatively high degree on Facebook’s product and policy directions) to be listed in public equity markets.

Thus, when that happens, the stakes will be higher for Facebook to detail how changes to its Platform features, monetization services, organic communication channels, and developer policies fit into its its vision for the long term success and growth of the Platform. If it doesn’t, the consequences will be increased volatility for not just developers and private investors, but now public investors as well.

Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011, Is Here

If 2010 is remembered as the year that games on social networks became a billion dollar business, 2011 is quickly becoming the year that the industry is starting to mature. Facebook is mandating Credits effective July 1st, creating massive changes in the monetization ecosystem, last year’s hit games are fighting for their lives, and new developers and games are climbing the leaderboards. At the same time, larger players are consolidating smaller studios and teams, and large media companies and traditional game developers continue to plot their social gaming strategies.

Get the Annual Membership
Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495
OR Buy Single Report: $995

That’s why we’re excited to announce today the release of a new original study in our Inside Virtual Goods series by co-authors Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that is exclusively focused on spending and usage patterns in the social gaming market, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011. The second annual installment of this report.

Most of the studies on player spending and usage patterns in social games over the last year have actually been conducted by industry vendors. Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 is our exclusive independent look at the virtual goods spending and behavior patterns of social game players on Facebook — data you won’t find anywhere else.

About the Report

Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 gives you an inside view of the market at this critical juncture in the intersection of social networking and online games.

We have surveyed nearly 2,000 players of social games on Facebook from around the world and across the demographic spectrum. Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 is the most in-depth independent survey of player behavior and spending patterns in the social gaming market.

What We Cover

  1. Spending Habits and Payment Methods in Top Games – It’s easy to compare games based on audience numbers, but which games monetize better? What payment methods do players use most often in top games? How is the shift to Credits affecting player behavior? We investigate how spending patterns compare across top social games.
  2. Frequency of Play and Methods of Game Discovery - As Facebook has cut down on developer access to viral channels, designing an engaging and viral game is becoming both increasingly important and challenging. We investigate which games people play most frequently, and which methods of social game discovery are most effective for top games.
  3. Demographic Differences by Region, Age, and Gender – While the social gaming market is increasingly global, the audience is also becoming increasingly diverse by age and gender. How do different segments of the audience differ in terms of spending and usage patterns inside social games? We take an in depth look.
  4. Brand Recall for Social Games – How important are brands, and how well can users identify developers of top games? We investigate brand recall amongst social game players.

See the full table of contents below:

Table of Contents

I. Methodology and Respondents

1. Introduction
  • About Inside Virtual Goods
  • About the Authors
  • Survey Objectives
2. Research Methodology
  • Target Population
  • Respondent Acquisition Method
  • Survey Structure
  • Potential for Bias
3. Survey Respondents
  • Description of Total Respondent Population
  • Total Number of Respondents
  • Overall Breakdown

II. Overall Results

4. Favorite Game
  • Distribution of Favorite Game
  • Frequency of Play
  • Favorite Game Discovery
  • With Whom Do You Play?
  • Spending on Favorite Game
5. Payments
  • Frequency of Payment Methods
  • Consumer Perception of Facebook Credits
6. Play Patterns, Spending, and Brand Recall for Top Games
  • Frequency of Play in Top Games
  • Spending in Top Games
  • Aided Brand Recall for Top Games

7. Mobile Platform and Game Adoption by Social Game Players

  • Smart Device Ownership
  • Mobile Games Played by Active Social Games Players
  • In-Game Mobile Purchase Activity by Active Social Gamers

III. Demographic Differences in Usage Patterns and Monetization


8. Regional Differences

  • Game Discovery and Spending
  • Favorite Game
  • Payment Types
9. Age and Gender Differences
  • Who are the Social Gaming “Whales”?
  • Spend Across Games

Appendix

  • Survey Questions

More Data, More Actionable Insights

In 2009 and 2010, social games began to show what kind of value can be created on top of social networks. 2011 will be an even more important year as the industry continues to mature.

Social gaming, powered by virtual goods, is this year’s industry to watch. If you’re involved, or are considering jumping in, Inside Virtual Goods will be one of your most important tools.

One year of original data and exclusive in-depth reports delivered on a quarterly basis is $2,495 and contains:

  • A detailed overview of the current state of the industry
  • Specific estimates on market size by segment
  • Diagnosis of key opportunities and issues by segment

Get The Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495


OR Buy Single Report: $995

The one year subscription includes three quarterly updates on key developments in the space, including future editions of our annual reports, Inside Virtual Goods: The US Virtual Goods Market 2010-2011 and Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2011.

Or, you can download just this report. The price is US $995.

About the Authors

justin-smith-headshotJustin Smith

Founder, Inside Network

Justin Smith is the founder of Inside Network, the first service dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem. Justin leads Inside Network’s analyst services, manages Inside Network’s AppData service, and serves as co-editor of Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games. Inside Network was acquired by WebMediaBrands (NASDAQ:WEBM) in May 2011.

Prior to Inside Network, he was Head of Product at Watercooler, now Kabam, a leading social game developer on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Watercooler, Justin was an early employee at Xfire, the largest social utility for gamers, which was sold to Viacom in 2006.

Justin holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Mayfield Fellow and a recipient of the Terman Award in Engineering.

charles-hudson-headshotCharles Hudson

Venture Partner, SoftTech VC, CEO and Co-Founder, Bionic Panda Games

Charles Hudson is a Venture Partner with SoftTech VC and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games company based in San Francisco, CA.

Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games. Zynga acquired Serious Business in February of 2010. Prior to Serious Business, Hudson worked at Gaia Interactive, Google, IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel. Hudson also founded Third Power LLC, a conference and events company that was acquired by WebMediaBrands. Charles holds an MBA and BA from Stanford University.

Last Week to Pre-Order Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011

If 2010 is remembered as the year that games on social networks became a billion dollar business, 2011 is quickly becoming the year that the industry is starting to mature. Facebook is mandating Credits effective July 1st, creating massive changes in the monetization ecosystem, last year’s hit games are fighting for their lives, and new developers and games are climbing the leaderboards. At the same time, larger players are consolidating smaller studios and teams, and large media companies and traditional game developers continue to plot their social gaming strategies.

Get the Annual Membership
Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*
OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends June 13, 2011. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on June 14, 2011.

That’s why we’re excited to announce today a new original study in our Inside Virtual Goods series by co-authors Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that is exclusively focused on spending and usage patterns in the social gaming market, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011. The second annual installment of this report, it will be released on Tuesday, June 14, but is available for discount pre-order now.

Most of the studies on player spending and usage patterns in social games over the last year have actually been conducted by industry vendors. Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 is our exclusive independent look at the virtual goods spending and behavior patterns of social game players on Facebook — data you won’t find anywhere else.

About the Report

Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 gives you an inside view of the market at this critical juncture in the intersection of social networking and online games.

We have surveyed nearly 2,000 players of social games on Facebook from around the world and across the demographic spectrum. Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 is the most in-depth independent survey of player behavior and spending patterns in the social gaming market.

What We Cover

  1. Spending Habits and Payment Methods in Top Games – It’s easy to compare games based on audience numbers, but which games monetize better? What payment methods do players use most often in top games? How is the shift to Credits affecting player behavior? We investigate how spending patterns compare across top social games.
  2. Frequency of Play and Methods of Game Discovery - As Facebook has cut down on developer access to viral channels, designing an engaging and viral game is becoming both increasingly important and challenging. We investigate which games people play most frequently, and which methods of social game discovery are most effective for top games.
  3. Demographic Differences by Region, Age, and Gender – While the social gaming market is increasingly global, the audience is also becoming increasingly diverse by age and gender. How do different segments of the audience differ in terms of spending and usage patterns inside social games? We take an in depth look.
  4. Brand Recall for Social Games – How important are brands, and how well can users identify developers of top games? We investigate brand recall amongst social game players.

See the full table of contents below:

Table of Contents

I. Methodology and Respondents

1. Introduction
  • About Inside Virtual Goods
  • About the Authors
  • Survey Objectives
2. Research Methodology
  • Target Population
  • Respondent Acquisition Method
  • Survey Structure
  • Potential for Bias
3. Survey Respondents
  • Description of Total Respondent Population
  • Total Number of Respondents
  • Overall Breakdown

II. Overall Results

4. Favorite Game
  • Distribution of Favorite Game
  • Frequency of Play
  • Favorite Game Discovery
  • With Whom Do You Play?
  • Spending on Favorite Game
5. Payments
  • Consumer Perception of Facebook Credits
  • Frequency of Payment Methods
6. Play Patterns, Spending, and Brand Recall for Top Games
  • Frequency of Play in Top Games
  • Spending in Top Games
  • Aided Brand Recall for Top Games

7. Mobile Platform and Game Adoption by Social Game Players

III. Demographic Differences in Usage Patterns and Monetization

8. Age and Gender Differences
  • Who are the Social Gaming “Whales”?
  • Spend Across Games
  • Trends in Favorite Games by Age and Gender
  • Analyzing the Top Two Games
  • How Do Midcore Games Compare?

9. Regional Differences

  • Game Discovery and Spending
  • Favorite Game
  • Payment Types

Appendix

  • Survey Questions

More Data, More Actionable Insights

In 2009 and 2010, social games began to show what kind of value can be created on top of social networks. 2011 will be an even more important year as the industry continues to mature.

Social gaming, powered by virtual goods, is this year’s industry to watch. If you’re involved, or are considering jumping in, Inside Virtual Goods will be one of your most important tools.

One year of original data and exclusive in-depth reports delivered on a quarterly basis is $2,495 and contains:

  • A detailed overview of the current state of the industry
  • Specific estimates on market size by segment
  • Diagnosis of key opportunities and issues by segment

Get The Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*


OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends June 13, 2011. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on June 14, 2011.

Although the report will not be released until next Tuesday, June 14, we are offering a special pre-order discount for those who purchase now. A one year subscription is $1,995 until June 14, at which point the price will go to US $2,495. The one year subscription includes three quarterly updates on key developments in the space, including future editions of our annual reports, Inside Virtual Goods: The US Virtual Goods Market 2010-2011 and Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2011.

Or, you can download just this report. The pre-order price is $795 until June 14, at which point the price will go to US $995.

About the Authors

justin-smith-headshotJustin Smith

Founder, Inside Network

Justin Smith is the founder of Inside Network, the first service dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem. Justin leads Inside Network’s analyst services, manages Inside Network’s AppData service, and serves as co-editor of Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games. Inside Network was acquired by WebMediaBrands (NASDAQ:WEBM) in May 2011.

Prior to Inside Network, he was Head of Product at Watercooler, now Kabam, a leading social game developer on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Watercooler, Justin was an early employee at Xfire, the largest social utility for gamers, which was sold to Viacom in 2006.

Justin holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Mayfield Fellow and a recipient of the Terman Award in Engineering.

charles-hudson-headshotCharles Hudson

Venture Partner, SoftTech VC, CEO and Co-Founder, Bionic Panda Games

Charles Hudson is a Venture Partner with SoftTech VC and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games company based in San Francisco, CA.

Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games. Zynga acquired Serious Business in February of 2010. Prior to Serious Business, Hudson worked at Gaia Interactive, Google, IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel. Hudson also founded Third Power LLC, a conference and events company that was acquired by WebMediaBrands. Charles holds an MBA and BA from Stanford University.

Announcing Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011

If 2010 is remembered as the year that games on social networks became a billion dollar business, 2011 is quickly becoming the year that the industry is starting to mature. Facebook is mandating Credits effective July 1st, creating massive changes in the monetization ecosystem, last year’s hit games are fighting for their lives, and new developers and games are climbing the leaderboards. At the same time, larger players are consolidating smaller studios and teams, and large media companies and traditional game developers continue to plot their social gaming strategies.

Get the Annual Membership
Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*
OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends June 13, 2011. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on June 14, 2011.

That’s why we’re excited to announce today a new original study in our Inside Virtual Goods series by co-authors Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that is exclusively focused on spending and usage patterns in the social gaming market, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011. The second annual installment of this report, it will be released on Tuesday, June 14, but is available for discount pre-order now.

Most of the studies on player spending and usage patterns in social games over the last year have actually been conducted by industry vendors. Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 is our exclusive independent look at the virtual goods spending and behavior patterns of social game players on Facebook — data you won’t find anywhere else.

About the Report

Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 gives you an inside view of the market at this critical juncture in the intersection of social networking and online games.

We have surveyed nearly 2,000 players of social games on Facebook from around the world and across the demographic spectrum. Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience 2011 is the most in-depth independent survey of player behavior and spending patterns in the social gaming market.

What We Cover

  1. Spending Habits and Payment Methods in Top Games – It’s easy to compare games based on audience numbers, but which games monetize better? What payment methods do players use most often in top games? How is the shift to Credits affecting player behavior? We investigate how spending patterns compare across top social games.
  2. Frequency of Play and Methods of Game Discovery - As Facebook has cut down on developer access to viral channels, designing an engaging and viral game is becoming both increasingly important and challenging. We investigate which games people play most frequently, and which methods of social game discovery are most effective for top games.
  3. Demographic Differences by Region, Age, and Gender – While the social gaming market is increasingly global, the audience is also becoming increasingly diverse by age and gender. How do different segments of the audience differ in terms of spending and usage patterns inside social games? We take an in depth look.
  4. Brand Recall for Social Games – How important are brands, and how well can users identify developers of top games? We investigate brand recall amongst social game players.

See the full table of contents below:

Table of Contents

I. Methodology and Respondents

1. Introduction
  • About Inside Virtual Goods
  • About the Authors
  • Survey Objectives
2. Research Methodology
  • Target Population
  • Respondent Acquisition Method
  • Survey Structure
  • Potential for Bias
3. Survey Respondents
  • Description of Total Respondent Population
  • Total Number of Respondents
  • Overall Breakdown

II. Overall Results

4. Favorite Game
  • Distribution of Favorite Game
  • Frequency of Play
  • Favorite Game Discovery
  • With Whom Do You Play?
  • Spending on Favorite Game
5. Payments
  • Consumer Perception of Facebook Credits
  • Frequency of Payment Methods
6. Play Patterns, Spending, and Brand Recall for Top Games
  • Frequency of Play in Top Games
  • Spending in Top Games
  • Aided Brand Recall for Top Games

7. Mobile Platform and Game Adoption by Social Game Players

III. Demographic Differences in Usage Patterns and Monetization

8. Age and Gender Differences
  • Who are the Social Gaming “Whales”?
  • Spend Across Games
  • Trends in Favorite Games by Age and Gender
  • Analyzing the Top Two Games
  • How Do Midcore Games Compare?

9. Regional Differences

  • Game Discovery and Spending
  • Favorite Game
  • Payment Types

Appendix

  • Survey Questions

More Data, More Actionable Insights

In 2009 and 2010, social games began to show what kind of value can be created on top of social networks. 2011 will be an even more important year as the industry continues to mature.

Social gaming, powered by virtual goods, is this year’s industry to watch. If you’re involved, or are considering jumping in, Inside Virtual Goods will be one of your most important tools.

One year of original data and exclusive in-depth reports delivered on a quarterly basis is $2,495 and contains:

  • A detailed overview of the current state of the industry
  • Specific estimates on market size by segment
  • Diagnosis of key opportunities and issues by segment

Get The Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*


OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends June 13, 2011. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on June 14, 2011.

Although the report will not be released until next Tuesday, June 14, we are offering a special pre-order discount for those who purchase now. A one year subscription is $1,995 until June 14, at which point the price will go to US $2,495. The one year subscription includes three quarterly updates on key developments in the space, including future editions of our annual reports, Inside Virtual Goods: The US Virtual Goods Market 2010-2011 and Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2011.

Or, you can download just this report. The pre-order price is $795 until June 14, at which point the price will go to US $995.

About the Authors

justin-smith-headshotJustin Smith

Founder, Inside Network

Justin Smith is the founder of Inside Network, the first service dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem. Justin leads Inside Network’s analyst services, manages Inside Network’s AppData service, and serves as co-editor of Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games. Inside Network was acquired by WebMediaBrands (NASDAQ:WEBM) in May 2011.

Prior to Inside Network, he was Head of Product at Watercooler, now Kabam, a leading social game developer on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Watercooler, Justin was an early employee at Xfire, the largest social utility for gamers, which was sold to Viacom in 2006.

Justin holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Mayfield Fellow and a recipient of the Terman Award in Engineering.

charles-hudson-headshotCharles Hudson

Venture Partner, SoftTech VC, CEO and Co-Founder, Bionic Panda Games

Charles Hudson is a Venture Partner with SoftTech VC and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games company based in San Francisco, CA.

Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games. Zynga acquired Serious Business in February of 2010. Prior to Serious Business, Hudson worked at Gaia Interactive, Google, IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel. Hudson also founded Third Power LLC, a conference and events company that was acquired by WebMediaBrands. Charles holds an MBA and BA from Stanford University.

Inside Network Acquired by WebMediaBrands

We are very excited to announce today that Inside Network has been acquired by WedMediaBrands! Our full team will be joining WebMediaBrands and we will be staying in our Palo Alto offices. More coverage of the news is up here, here, here, here, and here.

As the newest member of the WebMediaBrands family, we will continue to focus on building out our industry-focused sites, including Inside Facebook, Inside Social Games, and Inside Mobile Apps; our research and data services, including AppData, Inside Virtual Goods, Facebook Marketing Bible, and Inside Facebook Gold; and events, including Inside Social Apps.

Over the past several years, WebMediaBrands has developed a powerful network of news, events, education, and research services for the social media industry. We’re excited to be joining forces and combining our efforts to move even faster to deliver products and services to what are in our view two of the most exciting areas in tech over the coming several years – the social and mobile application ecosystems.

Together, we expect to continue focusing on building the highest quality news, research, data, and events serving all of the entrepreneurs, developers, marketers, and analysts that make this industry so vibrant. We’re very thankful to get to work with all of you. We’re looking forward to what’s ahead!

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