Zynga Expands on its Sweet Seeds Program – Back in October, Zynga raised money for children in Haiti through FarmVille. The program was called Sweet Seeds; since its inception, it has raised over $800,000. Now, the program is expanding to include a Haitian drum for Mafia Wars and a premium chip package in Zynga Poker. Together with non-profits FATEM and Fonkoze, the revenue will be used to further feed families and build school kitchens.
Habbo Adds Facebook Connect – The teen virtual world known as Habbo has long been popular among its target demographic. Now, users that also have a Facebook account will gain access to the social network through the virtual world. Players will be able to broadcast their Habbo activities and accomplishments through their Facebook feed, regardless of which of the 31 Habbo communities they are part of.
Sony’s Winter Charity Drive – Also in the giving spirit is Sony Online Entertainment. Until January 17th, players of the MMOs Free Realms, EverQuest, and EverQuest II may purchase a Triceratops pet, an Anklebiter doll, and a Bouncing Baby Panda Cub in each game respectively. Each item costs 500 Station Cash, and for each transaction $10 will be donated to the pediatric charity, Child’s Play.
How Social Games are doing in Latin America – While the past few months have shown notable influxes from the Asian demographic in social gaming, we have also been seeing, on Inside Facebook, growth from Latin America. Though it is unfinished, a study from a Brazilian university is showing that in its first survey, of 250 Brazilian users (ages 18 – 35), has shown that 26% of those that joined Facebook did so because of its social games. Moreover, another 30% joined due to friends being on the social network. Of everyone, however, 86% stated that the games were what they enjoyed the most, and of said games FarmVille made up 35% of all Brazilians playing Facebook titles while Mafia Wars made up 26%.
Civilization On Facebook – Sid Meier’s masterpiece, Civilization has been expected on Facebook for some time now. Leading up to its release, we’ve been kept up to date on its progress by the developer himself, and the game’s Facebook page (Sid Meier’s Civilization Network). Thus far, the page has garnered over 50,000 fans, and to their elation, the wait may be coming to a close. Just this Tuesday, the fan page stated that an open beta may be expected sometime early in the new year.
Zynga Tests Mobile Notifications – According to TechCrunch, it looks like Zynga is going to expand the usability of its games collection by allowing mobile notifications via SMS. Players will be able to track what is happening in any Zynga game without having to log onto a social network like Facebook. It is currently only available for about 10% of the Zynga player population.
Become a Facebook Fan and Win Fabulous Prizes – Looks like mainstream MMO titles are making even greater use of the social graph these days as developer Funcom is looking to give away prizes to people that become friends, fans, or followers of their Facebook and Twitter accounts. The company will have two accounts for each of its major titles including Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, The Secret World, and Funcom itself. For each one that a user signs up for, they will be entered into a drawing to win prizes such as free game time, beta access to new expansions, and other, unannounced items.
gWallet Launches gLTV Platform – Going live this week was ad offer platform gWallet‘s brand new gLTV. The new product is intended to add greater insight and accuracy in the measurement of social media analytics by allowing publishers to “measure and increase their lifetime value of users on their applications.” According to statements from the company, the gWallet platform can generate a gLTV metric on individual users. From here it is able to demonstrate exactly how to increase a “lifetime value of a user based on prior usage and transaction history.”
Answer Our Inside Social Games Weekly Trivia Question, Win a Free USB Drive from Surfpin – Tell us the correct answer to the following question before anyone else, and mobile payment company Surfpin will award you an 8GB Surfpin-branded USB drive in the shape of a credit card. The question, drawn from an article we published this week, is as follows: What is one possible reason that gaming applications have seen slower growth in the past couple of weeks? Send the answer to eric (at) insidesocialgames (dot) com.