Virtual World Smeet Sees Fluctuations in Users as Summer Vacation Starts

Smeet is a virtual world served through Facebook via a pop-up window described by Berlin-based developer Smeet Communications GmbH as a free browser-based 3D social chat game. Roughly 40% of its users are under the age of 18, giving the game an odd traffic life cycle as recorded by our traffic tracking service, AppData.

Smeet launched in September of 2010 and steadily climbed in monthly active and daily active users to a high of 582,000 MAU and 63,000 DAU between February and May 2011 when it first turned up on our list of emerging Facebook games. The game took a heavy hit to its numbers between late May and mid June, tapering down to just over 360,000 MAU and 32,000 DAU. We surmise that the drop coincides with school exams and finals, with the number of users picking up again in the last week now that summer vacation has officially begun.

The core experience of the game is to hang out and have fun by chatting, customizing your home and sharing your favorite YouTube movies. Smeet gathers information from your Facebook profile and populates a Smeet profile for you, displaying an avatar of your stated Facebook gender and your age and location. Your name and location may be changed in the game, but age and gender cannot. Clicking on another avatar displays that user’s profile, including Facebook profile photo, Smeet screen name, age, gender and location. Interaction tools range from animated actions (emotes) to private chat (whisper), as well as in-game messaging and friend invitations. In almost every public space, there are video screens streaming YouTube videos that players have shared.

Smeet Communications addresses the safety of minors with a page on their website and also a “For Parents & Teachers” category in their blog. There was an area in the game that the reviewer could not access because they were “too old.”

Players complete missions in the game which range from adding a location or uploading photographs to your profile to playing mini-games in specific areas. From missions, players earn badges as well as Fame Points that are used to level up your character and unlock new locations or rooms in your virtual home. Some mission rewards are paid out in coins, the game’s soft currency, which can be used to purchase customizations and other premium content. Mini-games abound in the world of Smeet and each shows a daily ranking when you access it. Like missions, some mini-games pay out in coins while others pay out Fame Points.

The 3D home building is not very sophisticated at time of writing. To move an object, players first have to put it away in their inventory, then walk their avatar to where they wish to place an object and access their inventory to place it, then save the room. Objects also come in boxes which have to be unpacked, some using many clicks, each spaced several minutes apart.

The game monetizes through that sale of its soft currency via Facebook Credits and several other pay methods we expect to see phased out after July 1. Third party advertizing also plays a large role in the game from sponsored clothing available and branded stores like the NBA store to video ads that plays as you wait to receive a reward after completing a mini-game. All around Smeet, players will also encounter characters carrying signs that say “Free Coins.” These are not player scams; they are actual characters placed in the world by the developers that link to third party offers which are tied to a coin reward.

Interested readers can follow the progress of Smeet with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.