Facebook users have a sweet tooth for Pudding Pop

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One of the fastest-growing Facebook apps isn’t made by King or Zynga. Pudding Pop, a puzzle game developed by CookApps, has an estimated 5.1 million monthly active users (according to AppData) — roughly 1 million of which have been added in the past week.

The only two Facebook apps to with a higher MAU growth in the past week are King’s headlining titles of Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga.

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How does Facebook affect Vegas?

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Facebook has changed the way many people communicate, but the social network has also played a hand in how people gamble. At the recent Social Gambling & Gaming Summit in Las Vegas, several game developers and land-based casino executives talked about the importance Facebook has held in growing the business.

Casinos and game developers are finding more devoted gamers (and paying customers) through Facebook — and not just at poker and slots games. As a result, some casinos are even bringing popular Facebook games such as Plants vs. Zombies (an EA title) into real-life with physical games based on the apps.

Derrick Morton, a speaker at the Social Gambling & Gaming Summit, is the CEO of FlowPlay — makers of Vegas World, a total Vegas experience that goes beyond cards and slots and allows users to work their way into upgraded suites, with jazzier outfits and invites to better parties. Vegas World has roughly 350,000 monthly active users, Morton said, and 70,000 daily active users. Morton spoke with Inside Facebook about how Facebook affects social gambling.

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Top 25 Facebook apps: November 2013

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Though Candy Crush Saga is still all the rage, AppData estimates show that one of the fastest-growing top games belongs to Zynga. FarmVille 2 has gained roughly 500,000 monthly active users (MAU) in the past month, vaulting it back into the top 10 Facebook apps list.

King still has 3 of the top 5 Facebook apps, with Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga. Pinterest was also a major gainer in the list as it makes its way up the chart.

Here’s the full list of the top 25 Facebook apps, ranked by AppData MAU estimate:

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How often do Facebook mobile gamers make an in-game purchase?

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Not long after Facebook launched mobile app action ads, reminding users to engage with apps they’ve already downloaded, a new study by game developer Arkadium shows that nearly 40 percent of gamers polled have made an in-game purchase on mobile.

These new ad units could definitely boost that number, as it would remind users to play with games or interact with apps they may have forgotten about.

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Top 25 Facebook apps: September 2013

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So you know that King’s Candy Crush Saga is the top Facebook app (and by a wide margin), but what other apps are popular among Facebook users? King also has the No. 2 Facebook app in Pet Rescue Saga, but many of the most popular Facebook apps aren’t games at all.

Figures from AppData show that many Facebook users also connect with TripAdvisor, Microsoft Live, Bing and Pinterest.

Find out what the top Facebook apps are below, ranked by monthly active users (MAU).

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Parse launches analytics tool, background jobs feature at first Developer Day conference

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Parse, the Facebook-owned app development platform, held its first Developer Day conference in San Francisco Thursday, and the company launched some key new products at the event.

Developers utilizing Parse can now schedule recurring tasks within the Parse dashboard, such as sending emails to users. Parse notes that this improves the speed of these tasks. Parse also launched an analytics tool that gives developers a single dashboard to measure app usage, monitor the effectiveness of push campaigns and track any data point.

Parse can now be used to develop Unity games for iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Parse also launched user and image modules to accompany its cloud modules. The user module allows app developers to create and manage a seamless login/log out experience, while the image module lets developers easily resize or crop images with a few lines of code.

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1 powerful tactic allows businesses to take advantage of Facebook’s new mobile game publishing platform today

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After announcing that 41 percent of its advertising revenue was due to mobile efforts, Facebook took the next logical step of mobile advertising by announcing it will now assist developers in publishing their mobile games.

I am NOT surprised by this move.

Facebook can offer its entire social network for distribution, which is already fine-tuned for advertising.

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Facebook launches mobile discovery platform for smaller game developers

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Facebook is opening up its games ecosystem even further, the company announced Tuesday. Facebook launched a new discovery system so newer and smaller game developers can gain exposure.

Through Facebook Mobile Games Publishing, a pilot program which will help developers grow on mobile, Facebook will help small and medium-sized developers by promoting their games across the company’s mobile apps. By having a more open games ecosystem (which was previously dominated by Zynga), Facebook has found an enhanced revenue stream, as payments from game developers has grown steadily.

Facebook Software Engineer Victor Medeiros announced the news in a blog post:

With more than 800 million monthly users of our mobile apps and more than 260 million people playing games on Facebook, we are using our unique reach and targeting capabilities to help games in our program find and engage a valuable audience of the right users. This program is designed to reach people who already play games on Facebook with new games that may interest them. For example, we will help strategy game fans find strategy games and casual game enthusiasts find casual games.

We are invested in the success of these games, and in exchange for a revenue share, we will be collaborating deeply with developers in our program by helping them attract high-quality, long-term players for their games. We’ll also be sharing analytics tools and the expertise we’ve gained from helping games grow on our platform for more than six years.

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Facebook’s Dan Morris to talk mobile games at Casual Connect

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The Facebook gaming ecosystem is changing rapidly, as King has taken the throne of the app market. While Zynga is still a major player, other contenders, such as Kixeye, Wooga and Pretty Simple (among others) are playing for bigger slices of the pie — leading to more competition and higher revenue for Facebook.

Most of the game developers responsible for the growth on Facebook will be at the Casual Connect conference this week in San Francisco. Facebook’s Dan Morris, the company’s lead for mobile games partnerships, will speak at Casual Connect Tuesday about mobile gaming.

Here’s the info on Morris’ discussion:

One of the biggest problems for games on any platform is getting discovered by the right people. With unique reach across mobile and desktop and users who play a diversity of games, Facebook can help your mobile game find and engage its audience. In this session, you will learn how Facebook provides multiple paths to success for developers by connecting the game experience across platforms, bringing more valuable users to your game, and partnering with smaller game studios.

Inside Facebook will provide coverage of Morris’ discussion, while Inside Social Games will cover other aspects of Casual Connect.

Readers: What do you want to know about gaming on Facebook?

Image courtesy of Pet Rescue Saga’s Facebook page.

Facebook app ecosystem shifts as King overtakes Zynga

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As reported by sister site Inside Social Games, King (maker of Candy Crush Saga) has passed Zynga, long the top dog in the Facebook application market, in terms of monthly active users.

This move is the biggest symbol of the shift in Facebook’s gaming and app ecosystem. Since gaming became popular on Facebook in its early days, Zynga was the biggest app developer on the site, and by a wide margin. However, as time went on, more competitors stepped up and delivered quality games.

Zynga had derived much of its traffic from Facebook, while delivering revenue for Facebook with hit titles such as FarmVille, FarmVille 2 and Texas HoldEm Poker. However, the two companies have had a messy divorce, as Facebook tried to cultivate an ecosystem with multiple gaming developers and Zynga sought traffic outside of the social network.

King has rocketed to the top with Candy Crush Saga, the most-used application on Facebook, in terms of monthly active users (MAU). While Zynga still has popular titles, such as Words With Friends and FarmVille 2, King now has five of the top 10 Facebook games in terms of MAU  — more than any other developer.

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