With the majority of its 845 million users playing games, Facebook is diversifying its offerings and looking beyond the PC and laptop for its player base. Matt Wyndowe, games product manager at Facebook, talks about the role tablets and smartphones will play moving forward for the social online mainstay in this exclusive interview.
What role you see tablets and smartphones playing in the overall social gaming ecosystem?
We’ve seen over the last couple of years a huge rise in social games on tablets and smartphones and I think we’ll continue to see that market grow. Traditionally, what we’ve seen is when new markets like that grow, they don’t necessarily get rid of our very healthy existing gaming base. There’s no question a massive growth area are smartphones and tablets, so we have at least 50 percent and probably more like 70 percent of our team focused primarily on mobile-based initiatives. A large percent of what we work on is helping provide distribution for really quality games, whether they are native applications or whether they’re mobile web applications. But that’s a trend that’s going to continue massively.
Do you have a sense of people who maybe start playing a game when they’re home or at work on a PC but continue that experience on a tablet or smartphone?
We’re seeing exactly that type of activity. Probably the best example of that kind of experience is a company called Wooga, which has games like Diamond Dash. They have massive user base from Facebook who installed Diamond Dash and play it every day. When they go and load it on their mobile phones, Diamond Dash automatically appears on their Facebook bookmarks. They’ve seen something like 1.8 million or 2 million referrals a month from Facebook. That app has been a huge success and it fits in with our commitment of getting the right stuff in front of the right people and very often that’s in a mobile context.