There can only be one Facebook. It was our conclusion when we recorded a podcast about five years ago. Since practically everyone is on Facebook, it is expected that you are there as well. Any competing social network will have to attract so many members that it creates the feeling that everyone is there as well. Even Google failed to do that with Plus. That’s why the new social networks developed along with gaming platforms are trying something different.
Snapchat games make sense
Snapchat is a photo messaging application that – for a moment – looked like it could become the next Facebook. It didn’t. Even big media companies that are running global news services rushed to Snapchat, but the service remained an attractive thing only for youngsters. The mass market couldn’t figure out what Snapchat could be used for, or how to use it.
Now, Snapchat has decided to expand its product portfolio specifically at those people who are already using the service. Snapchat has introduced a gaming platform.
Games must be written specifically for the Snapchat service, but they can be played right there in the app. Games can shared and played with other members. In April 2019, Snapchat members could choose from the following games:
- Bitmoji Party, a multiplayer game.
- “Alphabear Hustle” from Spry Fox.
- “C.A.T.S. Drift Race” from ZeptoLab, a multiplayer racing game.
- “Snake Squad” from Game Closure, a multiplayer battle-royale game.
- “Tiny Royale” from Zynga, a shoot-and-loot battle game.
- “Zombie Rescue Squad” from PikPok.
A few years ago, when everyone seemed to playing World of Warcraft, we knew couples who had found each other via the game. Now, the massively popular Fortnite game is regarded as a social network as well.
Fortnite as a social network
As a multiplayer game, it encourages communication and interaction. When players are trying to survive in the game and beat the opponent, they may also collaborate. In effect, Fortnite provides not only an addictive game, but an addictive social network that builds on the game, and on experiences and feelings generated by the game.
Fortnite has 200 million users. About 8 million are online, playing the game at a time. Half of teens say that they also meet their friends in the game.
Both Snapchat’s expansion from photo messaging to games and using Fortnite as a social network are clever ways to make users to hang out in these services longer. Neither will be the new Facebook because they attract only a certain age group.
Nonetheless, some day, a new thing will push Facebook aside. When it will happen and how it happens remains to be seen.