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Facebook sends 735 million referrals to games every day

Facebook sends 735 million referrals to games every day Exclusive

March 19, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

Today at GDC, Facebook revealed new statistics around its user base that show that developers who create games for both mobile -- using Facebook to drive community engagement -- and also deploy them to their website see significant lift in engagement and revenue.

According to Facebook's internal metrics:

- Mobile engagement for cross-platform users is 2.4x the engagement of mobile-only users
- Desktop engagement for cross-platform users is 1.5x the engagement of desktop-only users
- Revenue for cross-platform players is is 3.3x the revenue for desktop-only users

The company unpacked these numbers a bit in a new blog post on its official site, posted alongside its presentation at GDC.

Moreover, the company provided these statistics exclusively to Gamasutra:

- Across desktop and mobile, an average 375 million people play games that are connected with Facebook every month
- Facebook's web and mobile sites send an average of 735 million referrals to games every day

Gamasutra spoke to Dan Morris, head of its mobile games partnership team, to find out more about these stats.

First, for clarity, they represent "the grand total of referrals to a game application from desktop or any of our native apps, all channels included -- requests, news feed, anytime a tap or a click occurs."

"It excites us because it's a true indication of how many people our service are running into a game every day, and because the number is so high every day it really speaks to the place games have in people's lives," says Morris.

Morris says that the company suspected that the fact that a game with versions across both desktop and mobile would get a lift in engagement, and that Facebook is "really happy to validate that thought in our most recent numbers."

"It's just demonstrably the case that people who are playing a game both sides of the equation are more engaged," Morris says. "If you connect that mobile game to a desktop version of it, you're going to be glad you did, generally speaking."

Rather than in the past where games went from Facebook to mobile once they were proven successful, Morris hopes that these numbers will help convince mobile developers to making the leap to Facebook.

He says these numbers prove that the company is a great discovery engine for mobile developers looking to find an audience, too. "It's just ironically very difficult to get discovered in this open, direct consumer market," says Morris. "Discovery is the oxygen that you need to breathe in game development."

"Facebook's role for mobile developers is to help them get discovered," Morris says. "Given what we're learning with some of the data about just how much human attention on Facebook is inclusive of games, we see our role as shaping that discovery path actively."

He also touted the company's ongoing relationship with Unity as a great way to work cross-platform -- it sounds like a no-brainer, but many Unity-based games still probably not the first thing that leaps to mind when you think "Facebook."

"We work very closely with Unity, and Unity makes it increasingly easy to deploy your game everywhere," says Morris. "We still have got a very, very attractive desktop audience."

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