Nicknames Lets Facebook Users Name Their Friends for Fun

As one of the most popular “social games” on Facebook, Nicknames by SGN seems pretty straight-forward: The application lets you nickname your friends. The more people you invite to the application, the more likely you are to have those friends nickname you. People love nicknames, and I personally always like hearing what people would think I should be nicknamed.

Unlike many social games, Nicknames makes a valiant effort at depth. You can check out what your friends are nicknamed in the “friends” tab, check out who you’ve nicknamed in the “history” tab, add a “skin” to your profile, and even “style” the font of the nickname. You can also take a quiz to see how well you know your friends’ nicknames. All of these features, combined, should take you about three minutes to peruse and forget about.

While Nicknames is in many ways a logical step forward inside Facebook, by allowing users to share another aspect of their lives, its replay value is questionable. Will users keep inviting their friends to get themselves nicknamed? Will they keep checking back to add new nicknames or see if they’ve been nicknamed? Just how much will “style” and “skins” attract new users or keep old ones?

Nicknames is a popular game and deserves its success because it cleverly taps into everyone’s love of clever nicknames. The brand itself needs to think of more creative ways to keep users coming back, because the quiz game is perhaps the only feature with replayability at this point. The large amounts of ads on the application’s pages and the frequent updates indicates SGN is doing a good job maximizing their earning potential, but right now they have to push the application further to increase those page views.

Game play: 4 (perhaps not really a game, but still an enjoyable distraction)

Development: 7

Virality: 9