MySpace is trying make itself sexy for casual game developers, and part of this is by claiming that a third of its user base are gamers.
With Facebook's continued world domination, it's easy to overlook MySpace as a market for casual games. However, the NewsCorp-owned social networking site wants developers to take it seriously, having just announced a number of new viral features that increase gamer appeal and claiming that roughly a third of its 100 million users are playing games on the website.
The site recently rolled out three new viral features: an in-app "sharing" button, an in-game friending API, and an API that allows users to send gifts and invitations to one another. According to Inside Social Games:
The Share on MySpace button has already been available across the web. If you're on another site, like YouTube, you can share the content - a video, or whatnot - back into your MySpace activity stream. The shared item will include an image and text, and a prominent link back to the source. The new feature, called Share for Games, is intended to provide similar functionality from within an app: you can share content from an app directly into the stream and get users clicking through that way.
According to MySpace, the share button is responsible for ten to twenty percent of new app installs on user pages. This mean that, aside from direct invitations, the share button is the largest source of new players for games on the site.
It's a little surreal to read about how MySpace is now trying to hold onto the Number Two position in the social networking scene. Many of my friends who had (and subsequently de-activated) accounts on the site have told me stories about how it always felt like MySpace was playing catch-up with Facebook when it came to design and technology. Seeing as how the site has just released game features that aren't exactly brand new on the Web, it seems like my friends' allegations were spot-on.