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Insidesocialgames.com has taken the time to review our products: Notifyr and Trackr.

They seem to agree with us on the importance and impact these two products are going to have on the developers. Not only do they require no programming knowledge, they are very easy to use; with only a few clicks you can send notifications to your entire user base.

Just as easily you can track your marketing campaign, be traffic from invites, feeds, emails, notifications, or bookmark links. You can track Facebook install ratio with a comprehensive set of detailed reports.

Read more about it on Insidesocialgames.com.

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Considering all the businesses that are flocking over to the social media, one could say that businesses these days feel pressured to get on social media. Brant Cooper at Entrepreneur Corner mentions that

Social communication by “word of mouth” is a fundamental human characteristic and taking advantage of that is fundamental to all marketing because (let’s face it) consumer to consumer (C2C) communication is free.

Viral marketing is what we all strive for. It is the best type of marketing because of its two main characteristics: free and highly contagious. With social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, companies have to figure out ways to engage with users using these new “word of mouth” tools.

The article continues to mention something I believe it is paramount to successful advertising overall and also more specific regarding social media. Your social media activities should not be constricted to advertising only, it should bring some clear value to the community. As a business participant, you are there to educate and share your expertise to the benefit of the consumer. If one manages to achieve this, it will be perceived less as an add and more as useful information and then the consumer will subconsciously click on the add as a thank you.

With an online presence on social media channels, the company has to follow specific rules of engagement established by those channels. At the same time the company has to make sure they open channels of communication to the community to receive the valuable feedback that the consumers are willing to share with you.

Is social media worth your marketing dollars?[Entrepreneur Corner]

If you are wondering what the next big thing will be in terms of social web, Facebook could probably answer that question for you. They have just developed Facebook Connect for Mobile Web. This will enable not only iPhone developers to integrate the power of Facebook with their apps but also enable users of any mobile device to use Facebook Connect. The company says that 65 million of its 300 million monthly active users accessed its site from mobile devices in August, that’s up from 20 million mobile users just eight months ago.

This is interesting you say, but what does this mean for me as a Facebook app developer? At the moment Facebook is looking into the idea of integrating apps into the Mobile Facebook app. More ways the user can access your application, enabling them to play your game for instance anywhere they have service on their cellphone. Imagine turning on your phone and seeing status updates from your friends about the latest game that they played with a link that you can click to join them in their quest. Talk about viral marketing. The competitive drive within us will help drive the viral marketing and increase the number of users that access your app on their mobile device.

At the moment Facebook developer team is still trying to make Facebook accessible with over 150 carriers in more than 50 countries. This is their top priority, but once that is done they might start to work on ways to get Facebook apps on mobile devices.

Nokia announced the release of the Facebook app this week. Facebook could potentially promote apps on the Ovi website (Nokia’s app store). The problem is that mobile devices have not historically allowed developers easy access to users. Nokia wants to become a serious competitor to iTunes and in order to do that it has to figure out a way to make its apps use Facebook data to help users find new games that they might want to play. If Nokia does that they will be able to increase the users for their apps and become a closer competitor to iTunes.

Will Facebook become a major distributor of mobile games?

Converting money to virtual currency
Photo by Helcim

As a successful application developer you wonder what the best way to monetize your application is. You of course have the option of bombarding your application with ads. That might be a little intrusive and diminish the game experience. Another option is to employ the virtual currency option.
There are two ways of getting virtual currency. The obvious one is exchanging real currency for it. The other one is players participating in offers or surveys in exchange for in-game currency. This could be a win-win situation for both parties. The players get more in-game currency while completing offers they are possibly interested in, and you the developers get a share of the revenue.

If you wonder how many people would be willing to pay for in-game currency just look at the success Apple App Store applications had or some of the cheaper games on Steam. 9 out of 10 top paid apps on the Apple App Store are games. Users are willing and able to pay a small fee for an enhanced gaming experience. Even if the client comes from a country that is not top-paying, they still have the opportunity to get in-game currency by completing offers or surveys.

The good news is that as a developer, you don’t have to worry about how to implement virtual currency programs into your application. There are enough options out there for you to pick the best match for your app. What you need to take into account is the localization of the virtual currency offers or surveys. The more localized the offers are, the more successful the implementation of the virtual currency is going to be. Localization is key!

The long awaited Facebook Developer Garage-Dhaka was held at Déjà Vu Café, Gulshan, on August 16th 2009. This was the first ever Facebook Developer Garage event to be held in Bangladesh hosted by Infrablue Technology Ltd, powered by Intel. Over two hundred enthusiastic attendees came to this grand event to learn the power of the Facebook platform, which included developers, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals.

The Developer Garage event began with an introductory speech about the Facebook Platform by Fazle Taher, CEO & Co-Founder of Infrablue Technology and the host of the event. He spoke about the Facebook Platform and the power of the platform. Following that, Md. Al Mamun of Trippert Labs shared his experience of integrating Facebook Connect with iphone. He showed the various games that can be played in iphone via Facebook using Facebook Connect and talked about the benefits of using Facebook Connect with iphone apps. This was followed by a live app demonstration of ‘GameSmack,’ a Facebook application developed by Mr. Zakir Hyder of Cybernetikz.

As the event continued, the audience got more involved by asking Mirza Asif, CTO and Co-Founder of Infrablue Technology, several tough and interesting questions. Mirza Asif shared his experience of ‘the making of StreetFootball’ He shared his memories of the tedious nights of developing and the joy of receiving the prestigious fbFund. He also talked about the servers IBT uses for hosting its applications like Twenty20 and StreetFootball. A very interesting and informative discussion of scalability was presented by Mr. Hasin Hyder of i2we Inc. He explained, the importance of scaling and also encouraged everyone to explore into cloud computing and explained its benefits. Mr. Fayaz Taher, CMO of IBT, summed up the event by giving a very interactive presentation on how to monetize on Facebook which was greatly appreciated and admired by the audience. He also showed a video presentation from Sometrics, about Virtual Currency. Sometrics had created the video just for Bangladeshi Developers.  Fazle Taher wrapped up the event with a vision to create a large interactive developer community in Bangladesh.

Overall, the event was very successful.  After the presentations, the developers and other professionals got to mingle with one another over dinner. The event was highly appreciated by everyone and everyone who attended is looking forward for more events like this in future. Through Facebook Developer Garage- Dhaka, Infrablue Technology started a revolution during an inspirational night for many, not only did they open the doors and eyes for the community but, but also added the name of Dhaka City amongst the cities enlisted for Facebook Developer Garage, giving Bangladesh and her developer community a brand new identity in the technology community. Cheers to Facebook! Cheers to IBT!!

Facebook Developers Garage-Dhaka; photos and videos: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=105905633999&ref=ts

Facebook Developers Dhaka Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=35988909469

Engagement. We are not talking about a wedding engagement here. We are talking about user engagement. One of the definitions on Dictonary.com states that to engage is to attract and hold fast or to attract and please. This is what every app developer is looking for: a way to engage to user to have him/her become interested enough about the app that they will come back.

Nick O’Neil from All Facebook believes that there are five phases to the funnel: awareness, education, engagement, and action. Phase 3,

“Engagement” has become the cornerstone of social network marketing.[…]every online marketer knows that engaging your customers is the new form of marketing.

Establishing a rewarding relationship with your users is very important. One way you can do that is by creating a profile on Facebook Pages. With around 250 million users and growing, Facebook enables you to target a wide array of users. Another way to engage the users in becoming or continuing to be an active user is by using the Notifyr.

Notifyr is a product of Brainwave that provides an easy-to-use interface, a one click solution to all your notification sending needs for your Facebook app. Advertisers who want to engage with the user base on their apps can use this to create engagement. The games of IBT Games have seen a serious increase in user engagement after starting to use Notifyr. More than 50% of users of IBT Games apps, such as the highly successful T20 Cricket, are coming back because of the notifications they receive. The Notifyr enables you to send customized notifications to your user base. You can select what you want to send to whom you want to send and at what time.

Relationship marketing is the way successful applications engage their users to keep coming back. It is much more cost efficient to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one, as the Incentive Performance Center acknowledges. The longer the relationship last the more profitable that user will become for your business. By using the Notifyr you can be assured that you have the right tool to engage the users and create a steady user base.

Facebook Sales Funnel [All Facebook]

How can I track if the money I spend on ads is well spent or not? How do I know how many users I got from posting the ad on this website or on that blog?

These are questions that arise every time a new app is launched; the developer tries to market the app and grow its user base virally.

Trackr, a product of Brainwave, is the one stop solution for tracking your media campaigns, blogs and viral channels. Application developers can now use the Trackr in order to establish where your marketing efforts are most efficient. Trackr allows you to graphically see the data that is collected so one can quickly see what link generated the most traffic and also in what time frame.

By using the Trackr one can see the results of their media campaign and tweak their ad efforts accordingly. By doing this we were able to achieve much higher conversion rates for our apps. Because of Trackr, our conversion increased from 15% to 33%, it more than doubled.

Don’t waste money on channels that don’t work. With Trackr you can see for yourself what the most efficient campaign is and focus your efforts on that. You are able to see detailed reports on number of installs, unique users, clicks as well as geo reports.

Every developer wants their application to become viral. That’s the most efficient way of increasing the user base. You can create and add links to any website, blogs or viral channels that you can then track and find out where you need to add more resources to increase the traffic or stop advertising on places where the results are not as expected.

Football, or soccer as its known in America, is a truly global sport. Countries and people are united by it and interest is monumental. With international football competitions, the whole world really is watching.

In 2006, 284 million people worldwide watched the World Cup final. That same year, an estimated 5.9 billion total viewers watched at least part of the month-long tournament for an average of 93 million viewers per match By comparison; America’s Superbowl had an estimated 94 million viewers in 2006.

Football fans are very enthusiastic about the sport and take it very seriously. On Facebook, the two FIFA 2009 fan pages have a combined 300,000 fans worldwide, with other football fan pages having numbers near or above one million. In the three weeks since April 15, 2009, the number of fans on these pages has grown between 0.2% and 8.2%.

In the United States alone, Facebook counts over 1.35 million of those users as having soccer (football) as one of their interests. The fans sites that these and other like minded people around the world join, turn what used to be a pastime relegated to individual matches into an around the clock marathon.

Social media enables football fanatics to post stories and videos, as well as submit additional stories or commentary. Football-related social media provides fans to keep up with news about teams in other cities or countries. In short, it allows for fans to become more engaged in a sport that previously relegated fans to a spectator role during selected periods of time.

IBT Games is helping football fans express their passion for the sport in an application that allows users to build teams and compete against other fans. IBT Game’s Street Football application has over 121,000 monthly active users. Their application reflects the international nature of the sport and the global enthusiasm for the game. While 14.7 average pages a day spent on Facebook as a whole per unique user. Users of IBT Games’ Street Football application spent a significantly larger 24.6 pages per day on the application.

My point to all these statistics is that football is a universal pastime. People across the world watch and discuss the games. Most of these people are quite passionate about the sport and want to be engaged in their pastime a lot more than just the periods in which games actually take place. Social media makes it possible to take that passion beyond the football stadium and this benefits football fans everywhere.

Sports is a topic that generates huge amounts of passion in people. Everyone has a favorite team or player. Sports fans love to discuss their teams or favorite players, brag about their performance, and make predictions about as to which team will beat which and by what score.

Social Media makes it easier to do this. With social media, fans can react to stories or videos, share them, as well as submit additional stories or commentary. Additionally, sports-related social media allows fans who don’t live in a team’s city to keep up with news related to their team and to connect with like-minded fans. In short, social media provides a means for sports fans to become more engaged with their teams, their players, and other fans.

In the United States, 74% of those aged from 18-34 have either a Facebook or a MySpace account. In America alone, Facebook counts 5.5 million people as having sports listed as an interest in their profile.  These fans have joined thousands of fan pages created by the teams or players themselves, third-party organizations, or simply by other loyal fans. Such fan pages include news, videos, and pictures, of the team or player, as well as commentary and general expressions of fandom. Several pages have over 1 million fans and many more number in the 100,000s.

The growth of sports in social media has been explosive. Just this past week, fan pages on facebook grew anywhere from 0.5% to 5.3% on the week. Cricket pages had grown even faster, with growth ranging from 6.4% to 31.1% in the same time period. To put that in more understandable terms, a 0.5% weekly increase sustained over the years is equal to a 29.6% annual increase. Likewise, a 1% weekly increase becomes a 67.7% yearly increase and a 1% weekly increase results in a 67.7% yearly increase.

On Facebook, gaming and sports account for the second and third most added type of application respectively. Games make up six of the top ten and four of the top five most addictive Facebook applications.  In early 2009, the average age of a gamer was 29, with over a third of gamers being female.

IBT Games has been a leader in sports-related gaming applications for social media. According to a recent study, average users spend an average of 2 minutes, 35 seconds interacting with applications in total. On IBT Games’ Applications, users spend 15 minutes DAILY interacting with each application; 6.5x greater than the total average application time. 85% of users who installed IBT Games applications returned for multiple interactions. Currently, dedicated users of IBT Games Applications produce over 1 million page views a day on average. 56% percent of users returned 9 or more times during the first month.

IBT Game’s Twenty Cricket application has nearly 99,000 monthly active users. IBT Game’s Street Football application has over 121,000 monthly active users. 50% of IBT Game’s titles have received accolades and recognition from prominent organizations in social media including the fBfund and Bebo. While an average of 14.7 pages a day are viewed on Facebook per unique user. Users of IBT Games’ Casino Empire application spent a whopping 40.4 pages per day on the application alone.

Marketers are taking notice of these exponential levels of growth. In a recent survey by Adology, 25% of small businesses surveyed indicated that they would increase spending on advertising in social media in 2009 versus in 2008. A 2009 survey of 880 marketers found the 88% of marketers use some form of social media in their advertising strategy. Today, sports-related companies like Adidas, Nike, Spalding, and Gatorade, all have fan pages or advertise on Facebook or other forms of social networking sites.

Social media allows companies like these to connect with the sports fans that use their products. More importantly, social media has given fans a chance to connect with their favorite teams and players, and share their passion with other fans. In doing so, a fan’s ability to express a love of sports is no longer relegated to just a ballpark.

Everyone wants to get the inside scoop of the future. What exactly is the future of social media applications? We started seeing simple applications where you can do quizzes, rate friends, have top friends, poke people, super poke people but now we are starting to see more complex applications, which constitutes of sports games with complicated game engines, flash based casual games, or a mix of both.

The most important thing you need to know is that, this is a young industry that is going to grow very rapidly. More and more developers are making applications, social networks are opening up their platforms to outside developers, and everyone is talking about social media and Web 2.0. Competition will increase in time. Therefore, you need to continuously stay at the forefront and stay updated with how the platforms are evolving, if it is you want to compete in this industry.

One thing people do forget is that, users are going to get savvy as well and their expectations are going to grow faster in time. That means they will get irritated with errors, slow applications, applications that are spammy and applications that do not protect user privacy. They will expect much more than what is available now.

So what are we doing at ibtgames.com? We follow three guiding principles

1) Focus on what users want

2) Focus on making engaging applications

3) Redefine the user experience

Now what does all this mean?

Focus on things that users want, not what you think they want. It is important to make sure they are getting a value or satisfaction. Otherwise, they will probably not stay long thus not make your application engaging. So this brings to the next point, making engaging applications. You do not want to make an application where they will come and leave in 2 mins or just use it once or twice. Engage them with more options and features that will interest the users. Provide some depth by going to the next level. Think of it as providing long-term value rather than short term so this means you constantly need to redefine the user experience on your application. This involves continuously improving your application, trying to make it as error free as possible, making it faster and using current technology to improve their experience while they are on your application. Also it involves listening to the users and providing new features in a timely manner that will satisfy the user.

Check out our sports application on facebook.

Twenty20 Cricket http://apps.facebook.com/twentycricket/