Digital Chocolate Enters Facebook Cross-Promotion With the VIP Games Network

Over the past six months, cross-promotion between games on Facebook has become one of the most vital tools for small developers to grow their apps. Digital Chocolate, one of the largest developers on the platform, is releasing its own third-party cross-promo bar today, the VIP Games Network.

The first third-party cross-promotion bar to grow large was Applifier, which was followed by AppStrip. Both use the same exchange model, in which developers get 0.9 clicks back for every 1 they send out; the extra clicks left over are sold by the service.

VIP Games Network is undercutting the competition by starting as a straight 1 to 1 exchange. It will also offer analytics and ad optimization tools to measure the results.

The negative side to this model, at least for some developers, is that the network will be selective, only accepting games that meet Digital Chocolate’s quality standards.

The advantage to Digital Chocolate seems fairly obvious. If it can pick and choose which games go on the network, the company can tailor the selection to be beneficial to itself, including only games with desirable players who may not have been exposed to Digital Chocolate’s games before.

Self-interest on the part of Digital Chocolate shouldn’t hurt other developers who are accepted to the network, since they’ll have an equal opportunity to reach high-quality players who haven’t been exposed to their games before.

Of course, Applifier, the largest cross-promotion network, has also been selective in the developers that it accepts, and most developers using it have reported good results. The real advantage to the VIP Games Network will be the straight 1:1 exchange; Digital Chocolate can forgo profiting from the network indefinitely, since it has its own lucrative stable of games.

The analytics tools could also prove valuable, and Digital Chocolate COO Jason Loia says that the network could eventually extend to other platforms.

Look for competition to heat up in the cross-promotion space in coming weeks. Most developers will only want to run one cross-promo bar, but Applifier is unlikely to go down without a fight, and AppStrip was recently acquired by TapJoy, which will likely work to capture a new clientele with the bar.