Web Users Welcome Brands to Social Games!

Players want discounts, loyalty program points as gaming rewards!

Social gaming has become a mass phenomenon for Generation X and millennial adults, according to research from Saatchi & Saatchi and Ipsos OTX MediaCT. eMarketer believes US social gaming revenues will pass $1 billion this year, and a May 2011 survey of US internet users ages 18 to 44 found that half play social games every day.

Those daily players include 54% of men and 46% of women in the studied age group. Among tablet owners, two-thirds reported gaming each day; more than half of smartphone owners said the same.

Many players reported participating in the games to kill time, but many took their gaming habit to work with them, with 14% saying they played games like FarmVille and Bejeweled Blitz at work for at least an hour each day.

Fortunately for marketers, many players welcome brands into the environment where they spend so much time. While internet users in this age group still prefer email updates as the best way to learn about new products, nearly two in five chose an online game as a preferred route to new product knowledge—a percentage well above that for traditional media advertising.

Most players are interested in social challenge features of the games they play, and that’s one place where brands can enter the picture, the research found. Among respondents interested in completing social challenges, 57% found product discounts a “very compelling” incentive to complete them, while another 37% found them “somewhat compelling.” Loyalty program points were considered at least somewhat compelling by 88% of respondents. Challenges that could result in direct social action were also highly motivating, but status in the community was an insufficient reward for one-third of players, suggesting brands could spur interest by developing sponsorship opportunities in this area.

Web Users Welcome Brands to Social Games

Emineo Media

Facebook IPO Targets 100 Billion!

Numbers soared to surprising heights when LinkedIn went public, so naturally rumor has it Facebook (news, site) is is preparing itself for an IPO that could surpass US $100 billion.

The report comes to us via CNBC, which says the IPO is likely to happen during the first quarter of 2012. This date makes sense, as it falls in line with the company’s deadline for reporting its financial information, regardless of whether it’s private or public at the time.

Some perspective: should Facebook’s IPO meet expectations, it would be one of the largest in history, quadrupling Google’s US $23 billion IPO in 2004.

Whether or not this is as good of a thing as it sounds like for Goldman Sachs, the network’s main investor, remains to be seen. While certainly still a giant, Facebook’s growth has reportedly begun to slow.

According to the latest report from Inside Facebook, the network’s membership growth was 11.8 million in May and 13.9 million in April. And while that might not seem like a deal breaking difference, it does serve to highlight a couple of particularly unsettling numbers: Facebook lost roughly 6 million US users in May and another 1.5 million users in Canada during the same time period.

Still, Facebook’s international popularity is becoming increasingly significant, as the network gained 1 million users from locations such as Mexico, India, Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines.

What do you think of the reported IPO numbers, and what aspects of the impending mania give cause for concern? Let us know in the comments below.

Facebook IPO Targets 100 Billion Despite Slowing Growth.

Average U.S. Smartphone Data Usage Up 89% as Cost per MB Goes Down 46%!

The mobile Data Tsunami initially described here is still growing at an astounding pace. According to Nielsen’s monthly analysis of cellphone bills for 65,000+ lines, smartphone owners – especially those with iPhones and Android devices — are consuming more data than ever before on a per-user basis. This has huge implications for carriers since the proportion of smartphone owners is also increasing dramatically. (Currently, 37% of all mobile subscribers in the United States have smartphones.)

Average U.S. Smartphone Data Usage Up 89% as Cost per MB Goes Down 46% | Nielsen Wire.