With well over 17 million users every month, Top Friends, by Slide, has made itself one of the more dominant applications on Facebook today. In addition to the core Top Friends functionality, users are able to completely customize their profiles with music, videos, and skins. Moreover, you can even show your mood as well as track the things your friends do. Everything is very personal, and gives users the ability to really show who they are.
Nevertheless, as popular as Top Friends already is, it has recently added a new feature that called “Ownd,” which, as one might expect, is more or less identical to its social game counterparts: Owned! and Friends for Sale.
Just like in the actual game, Slide has created a means for you to buy and sell your friends, put yourself on the market, and see what you are “worth” to people. With this new feature you can see who owns you, how much your profile costs, and how much cash you have, but there isn’t really too much beyond that.
Is this a step for Slide further into social gaming? Definitely. Although at this point, this is just a simple test to see how much this improves the user experience for Top Friends’ users. Is it a game? No, not quite yet: It is game-like, but this is a feature that is still a smaller part of a greater whole. Could it be turned into a game? Yes – Owned and Friends for Sale, while not much deeper, are fully designed around the concept of buying and selling your friends.
Ultimately, this is not a bad idea. Even if Slide chooses not to go further down this road, they can at the very least, expect to see increased traffic coming their way soon. And if you believe that games are “somewhat” recession proof, it is a pretty wise investment as well.