GoD: Frengo's de Silva Talks Building An SMS Community
In today's feature for Gamasutra sister mobile game news site GamesOnDeck, we talk to Frengo
, with Mah de Silva, co-founder and CEO, and Dan Mosher, senior VP of operations and business development explaining the recently launched "social play network," which offering members SMS/MMS games and messaging services.
In this excerpt, de Silva says while the company may offer downloadable content at some point in the future, its current focus on strictly SMS/MMS for its casual game and community services has helped it build a community from the outset and give users more control:
"...we look at SMS and MMS as our primary communication channel with the consumer, and over time we're going to start to offer far richer content, such as downloadable content, but we want to make sure we get the very casual gamer market and then really build upon that.
We've really taken a hybrid approach, however. We don't just offer games. One of our social networking tools is "Post to MySpace", for example, which allows you to post blog entries or photos to your MySpace from your phone. That's an example of a ‘widget' that we offer that allows you to do something over and above what you can normally do with your phone.
GOD: Is your main selling point the community aspect, then?
MS: We think the community aspect is important, but we didn't want to get into the situation where you need the community to be attractive to consumers, and then how to build the community? So we've started with these SMS and MMS casual games which are topical quiz contests about sports and celebrities, and that's something that can be played regularly and online, so it's easy to share the experience with your friends, and you can also play games which are played specifically between friends, with their own leaderboards and so on.
As well as this players can build their own experiences, using our tools such as "Plan Your Night Out" in which we control all of the messaging but you can build your own entertainment and get your friends involved. "
You can now read the full GamesOnDeck feature
on the subject, with more from the company on its market, competition, and how Frengo would like to address the needs of all 230 million cell phones in the U.S. (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).