Thanks to our good ‘friend’, Eyjafjallajökull, I didn’t make it out to San Francisco for Inside Social Apps 2010 but thankfully the Twitterverse and the Inside Social Games site did a great job of keeping us Europeans in the loop.

I extracted the following Tweets which I think offer valuable insights into the mood and interests that were clearly prevalent. here they are for your pleasure…..

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Business metrics/KPIs/trends etc
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Lisa of RockYou says typical monetization %age is 1-3%

Most social games monetize 1-3%, top performers are at 3-5%. Adding an offer wall doubles those numbers.

To get to $1 billion in rev, a social game has to hit 100 monthly active users with a monthly average revenue per user of 40 cents. #isa2010

George of Offerpal: puting up offers that are tied to place in the game is next innovation, “get 2 points” when you need 2 points

Alex Rampell: Best observation so far? SPOT ON with offer fatigue vs expiring, time-contextual offers

Apps 6 billion, vertical services (games, search) 3 B, user pay (virtual goods & services) $25 B revenue. Social games = $15B.

Ngmoco sees over 8 logins per day per user

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Facebook
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Interesting how even the big guys have limited relations w Facebook and count on fb playing fair.

Prediction: Facebook will go back to its viral ways because of desire to get greater use of their Credits platform.

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User experience
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Users are not buying virtual goods they are buying a virtual experience, Vikas Gupta fm Jambool at ‘inside social apps’ in SF

eBay maintains a separate login for PayPal because users want that. Indicates credentials tied to casual logins like FB is bad.

Jason Oberfest: “Does the game get better when you invite friends?” Definition of “social gaming”?

“We need to make games more social. Ideally games would incite real life interaction based on character interaction in game play”

Cultural differences in social gaming: Asians like to buy goods for status & Westerners like to buy things for fun experiences.

Future trends for global social gaming: diversify platform and make games appealing to all cultures which is challenging.

Peter Relan of CrowdStar said true casual multiplayer will arrive to social games this year

Vish Makhijani of Zynga says they have good behavioral data from their users that helps them experiment with new social features.

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Zynga keynote
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What if the change in consumer behavior is that people start to have relationships with apps instead of web pages? – Mark Pincus

Mark Pincus nailing it. App economy needs persistant app bar, open comm channels, universal social feed, narrowcasting

When Zynga tested narrowcasting, they saw a 400% increase in sharing (sending updates to a subset of friends)

narrowcasting to only friends who are in the app led to 400% jump in sharing for zynga.

Gifting is the new poke because it has social value. 19 Billion gifts received on Farmville

Gifts = pokes with social value says Mark Pincus of @zynga

social games have 3 pillars: users have to play, users have to make an investment & games are form of self expression

5 ideas from Pincus on building consumer francises:

1)players should invest time and be able to express themselves

2) Bold beats help. Zynga does this with franchises I.e. City expansion in mafia wars

3) Use metrics extensively to find feedback loops and then double down

4) Don’t lose sight of delight

5) Innovate on social ROI I.e. Zynga helped raise $3m for Haiti

One of the things that’s important that you guys haven’t copied enough: social virtual goods. Marc Pincus

Farmville released “Sweet Seeds for Haiti”. They raised $3 million. And, they earned 400K new virtual currency users

Mark Pincus: social gaming is most open gaming platform.

Wow best question to Mark Pincus- “how do you see health related issues coming into social gaming?”

pivot off fun to make good things happen… not just try to do “good” head on…

Pincus: focused on getting people engaged to play the games Zynga develops. Add on other features to promote social good

Zynga-next 12-18 mos, facebook needs to decide if they want to be the plumbing or the portal for social web.

Pincus: FB will have to decide between being plumbing (ie why aren’t 4square, gowalla built on fb?) vs portal

Users want meta-game oportunities.Farmville,Cafe world and others integrated.

where there is money to be made there will be scams and bad behavior. Zynga tries to educate but hard to get user attention

Pincus: want growth of your app, focus on engagement NOT virality. Good experience people want to forward is top issue.

Mark Pincus: “We watch Pacific, not PBS”-tie healthy behaviors into things that are already fun, don’t launch a healthy themed game

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Business models / commercial opportunities & trends / challenges
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New business models for virtual goods? Hard to do. Innovate in the way users interact with each other.

Future trends for global social gaming: diversify platform and make games appealing to all cultures which is challenging.

Rev per active daily user in different countries?Compares to GDP differences of each country.

Launching a game? Cross promotion with SGN and others. Must get into the charts ideally top 25

Interesting fact: Mobile games make more money in the freemium model as opposed to premium model.

Where is the money? Experiment with lite apps as advertising for prem versions. Paid apps are bigger rev source than ads or goods #

SGN made more money when it moved to free model. Other panelist agree. Free to play productsproduce more revenue

Reco from VC. Raise a ton of money to grow or sell now.

maha and tim are right – being an independent is not feasible at this point. you need a bucket load of capital.

Very surprised at how un-bullish this panel is to independent developers on the Facebook platform. I see lots of niches to conquer.

there is a large international untapped audience which has not yet been reached by the big players

Wow! Tim Chang blasts through list of 30 potential acquirers of social apps in 1 breath! Ignites 2nd sincere applause of the day

don’t want to lose this nugget -> Tim Chang-> “its not just check in of location, what about check in of ‘passion / interest'”

Investors agree social app co. valuations are “frothy” and industry is consolidating. Tim Cheng has long list of prospective M&As.

Mobile apps and mobile gaming are definitely a billion dollar industry within two years. Shervin Pishevar

Game evolution acceleration: FIFA has had 21 generations over 17 years. Pet Society has had over 100+ revs in 1.5 years

Review: 1) Payment problem for non-CC holders 2) Social mobile gold rush goes on 3) Doom/gloom for FB indies 4) Monetization=gaming

Last panel believes that Apple and Facebook will be the future of online currency in the next 5 years

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Business models / commercial opportunities & trends / challenges
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John Pleasants says that localization of social games is becoming a priority as the publishers try to monetize internationally.

Playdom, Zynga and Playfish have all their own retail payment cards now.

Top payment providers: PayPal, Amazon, Apple (iTunes), and BillMeLater

Panelist says Facebook has the cleanest advertising environment because of cleanup efforts from @techcrunch Scamville post

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