Today Facebook and Twitter is everywhere. And I really like those social networks. A few years ago I used RSS Feeds as my main source of daily news and information. Today I check my Twitteraccount and lists. And Facebook is a great way to keep contact with people you don’t interact with everyday like former colleagues and friends.

Because every developer wants his app/game to go viral they often put in buttons of social networks. I dont’ do it anymore. I also haven’t included those buttons in my latest mario-like platform game Sophia’s World for iOS and Android.

And here is why:

  • I don’t want to drive my users to twitter or facebook. Instead I want them to spend more time within my game.
  • If the app is worth talking about it, my users will do. If not, they won’t.
  • I don’t want to force my users to spread the word because it won’t work.

I have facebook fan pages for my apps because it’s easy to setup and it’s nice to spread the word around my social network. But I won’t advertise it anymore within my games.

Here are some numbers of a friend of mine. Michael Contento is owner of Cora Games. His latest game is a word puzzle app for kids. Within the first week people played it 12 000 times. Those plays generated 90 clicks on the Facebook Page and 122 on the Twitter Button. From those who clicked nearly nobody liked the Facebook page or followed the Twitter account.

In my game Captain Backwater I included integration so each player can share their achievements. Nearly nobody makes use of it. I see other games forcing the players sharing their stories by offering them something in return like special items or ingame currency. Come on, guys! That’s lame. Make a better game and people will talk about it.

  1. nicolasgb (2012-12-09 16:10)

    Interesting. IMO the benefit of Twitter/Facebook isn’t so much that players may make the game go viral. It’s that it provides a direct means of contact with the players when you have news or a new game.
    We found that an incentivized opt-in newsletter yields better numbers, though.

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