Note: this is the second post of a four-post series on how Facebook Connect in changing digital media and online marketing. See the others here
Playfish's 'Who Has the Biggest Brain' is a wide popular Facebook Application and iPhone game. While not new, it is a terrific example of how Facebook Connect can be integrated into gaming environments to make the game more social, sticky and engaging. The game itself is very well done (challenging, fun, smart) but I am even more impressed by the role that Facebook Connect Plays:
- Through the iPhone App, users can connect their Facebook social graph through the mobile Facebook Connect integration
- Once connected, users are notified of where their score sits within their social graph, instantly encouraging competitiveness. When you pass a friend's high score, the screen animates as you move up the 'podium' - its terrificly clever and yet a simple way to bring relationships to an otherwise one-dimensional game
- Users can share their high scores via the Facebook feed or notifications - and, similarly, users are notified when their scores are surpassed
While Playfish's Facebook Connect integration is not unique, it is a great example (SGN, Zynga and others have also done it well). These are all mobile gaming integrations... but it begs the question: why can't this work on traditional gaming platforms like Xbox Live or the Playstation Network? These are more robust, interesting opportunities that already have web interfaces and thrive on social interactions.