Tag Archives: Farm Town

Farmville Exceeds 7.2 Million Users by Providing Value in News Feed Posts

I realize I’ve been posting about Zynga’s Farmville a great deal, but the speed to which it has grown to be the number one application on Facebook really is an impressive story. Yesterday, Farmville was the first application to break the 7 million level (hitting 7,259,378 daily active users according to Developer Analytics tracking) while no other application has yet to cross 6 million.

Slashkey’s Farm Town maintains it’s hold as the #2 application and continues to grow, but at a more gradual pace. Farmville’s most recent push can be tied to the release last Friday (August 7th) of achievements (presented as ribbons) that help define progress in the game. Users can earn ribbons for raising multiple animals, crops and trees as well as several other tasks.

It is fairly common for game applications on Facebook to prompt users to “brag” about these achievements, which in turn gets users to promote the game to their friends. But the ingenious twist that Zynga developed was providing an incentive to post the achievement to your news feed and for your friends to click on it.

Instead of the “brag to your friends about your achievement” pitch to get users to post to their walls, this is all about “sharing the wealth” with your friends. And on the friend side, they see that the poster “wants to share their success with you” and there is a distinct “Get a bonus from Eric” link that prompts users to click and get back into the game.

The phrasing is subtle, but it actually transforms what some call spam into a message that provides value to both the poster and the friend. As a result, in just two months, Zynga’s Farmville has grown to be 34% larger than the number 2 application, Farm Town. Expect other games and applications to take note, because as marketers and applications fight to get users to post into an already crowded friend news stream, it’s the ones that deliver value that will cut through the clutter.

Farm Town Passes the 5 Million Daily Active User Mark

Slashkey’s Farm Town appears to be the first game application to reach over 5 million daily active users when it hit 5,154,945 according to data presented by developeranalytics. Below you can see the three top game applications on Facebook in terms of daily active users: Farm Town, Zynga’s Mafia Wars (4.1 million daily active users) and Zynga’s Farmville (3.9 million daily active users). As noted before, the rate of growth for Farmville has been impressive, and on July 20th, Farmville actually surpassed Mafia Wars daily active users for one day. No wonder these games were often highlighted as examples as part of the “Trends in Social Gaming” discussion at Casual Connect yesterday.

There is Room for Two: Farm Sim Games Dominate Top Five Facebook Applications

Slashkey’s Farm Town has been the runaway hit on Facebook, the current number one application and game on the social networking site. The torrid growth started shortly after its February 2009 launch, reaching over 4.5 million daily active users as of today, which I believe is a record number for any game application on Facebook.

While Slashkey’s rise to the top has been impressive, we’re also seeing unprecedented growth from competitor Zynga’s own Farm Simulation game, Farmville, which has already topped 3 million daily active users since it’s June 23rd launch, landing it in the #5 spot according to Developer Analytics.

While Zynga was able to cross-sell from other games like Mafia Wars (Slashkey doesn’t have any other Facebook applications), they also seem to be better at engaging users, seeing more Facebook status updates from the Farmville users than Slaskey is getting from Farm Town users.

To try to quantify the level of engagement by the users of each application, I used Facebook Lexicon data from June 29th (there is a lag so no more recent data is available) and the Facebook Lexicon Activity Pixel Index ™ (or FLAPI) that measures the number of pixels from the x-axis and to give you a number you can use to benchmark competing brands when using Facebook Lexicon graphs (see other posts using FLAPI).

Game Developer Daily Active Users (DAU) Facebook Lexicon Activity Pixel Index ™ FLAPI per Million DAU
Farm Town Slashkey 3.47 million 85 24.5
Farmville Zynga 1.61 million 52 32.4

So while not as impressive as Mafia Wars sporting over 100 on FLAPI per Million DAU last month, Zynga’s Farmville appeared to be engaging it’s users 32% better (32.4 vs. 24.5) than Slashdot’s Farm Town.

Finally, the more interesting take-away may be that instead of cannibalizing the existing Farm Sim giant, Farm Town, Zynga’s new Farmville game has actually expanded the genre, showing that two somewhat similar games can co-exist: in the last two weeks the two games have increased the daily active users by nearly 2.5 million per day or nearly 50%.

Disclosure: I have done consulting work for Zynga but have not been compensated or had any input from them to write this post