Tilting Point studies the app markets to provide independent game developers with the latest research and insights. In this article Jerome Sudan, Director of Marketing, takes a look at the implementation of Facebook Connect in mobile games in order to determine how much value game developers ascribe to the feature and what players get out of it. For more news & insights on the mobile game industry follow @tiltingpoint.
Your Facebook information is worth $1.29.
What does it take to get your Facebook information? A savory glass of red wine in an overpriced yet underwhelming restaurant? An awkward movie date where you clearly would have picked the action flick over the romantic comedy – but it’s too late now? A night at the museum watching “A Night At The Museum”? A breakfast at Tiffany’s (they have amazing bagels right next to the diamonds)?
Turns out you’re actually a much cheaper date.
A few virtual diamonds or gems, a flurry of coins, a swig of swag, some exclusive content, and the promise of a better connection (with the game) is all it takes for you to share your Facebook information with game developers or publishers.
We took a look at top grossing and top downloaded mobile games to see how much developers and publishers were willing to give to entice you into connecting your Facebook data.
The first observation is that a lot of major brands actually do not give you anything in exchange for your Facebook love: most King games, most Angry Birds games, Clash of Clans and Royale (but Hay Day does), Minions Paradise, Game of War (but Mobile Strike does), Fairway Solitaire Blast, etc.
Of the 100 games we analyzed that do reward you with in-game gifts, the average offer to the user in exchange for their Facebook data is $1.29; barely enough for a roll of mints.
And yet there is tremendous value in this Facebook data for all parties involved.
Indeed, the highest value was $9.98 from Pirate Kings, while games such as Mobile Strike and Subway Surfers offered almost $5. Despite their very different genres and ARPDAU levels, this price highlights the importance to these very successful games of connected users.
For the gamer, it’s a one-tap shortcut to unlocking a lot of functional benefits, very often explicitly communicated to the user:
– Backup your data / save your progress
– Play across multiple devices
– Play and interact with friends: find them, challenge them, see their progress and high scores, trade with them, etc.
– Send and receive gifts (usually tied to another layer of incentives based on how many friends/gifts you send)
– Unlock gated features: leaderboards, special events, exclusive levels, roadblocks/friend gates
– Receive extra lives, coins, daily gifts, energy, and more
For the developers, it enables valuable marketing features: Facebook sharing, friend invites, re-engagement tactics (email campaigns); and also helps facilitate customer support.
This explains why some games (usually those targeted at hyper casual audiences) go the extra mile in surfacing the offer repeatedly through every step of the user experience: in the main menu, on the level start screen, game over screen, the settings menu, etc.
Some even go the extra mile in presenting the action of connecting with Facebook as a mission or achievement you have to complete as part of the game, usually within the first time user experience.
The important thing to keep in mind is that all of it is purely voluntary and optional. None of the 500+ games we looked at prevented you from playing the core game if you declined to share your Facebook information.
It is a mutually beneficial arrangement without heavy downsides or strings attached. The exchange of services is clear: you trade privacy (some of your Facebook data) in favor of functional benefits and $1.29 in virtual gifts.
No shame or judgment here. We’ve all done much worse for much less.