We've recently introduced three new viral features that we feel will make it easier for games to grow on myspace. Here's a rundown of the new goodies for developers...
Enabled Share on myspace for onsite apps. This is an improved way for apps to share more types of content into the myspace stream.
Stats: Using Share on myspace now accounts for 10-20% of new installs per day for some games. It has quickly become the second largest source of installs behind invites during our initial testing. There has been a 14x increase in CTR on stream posts using Share over our traditional Activities API.
Launched a new In-Game Friending API, allowing users to friend each other within a game.
Stats: Some developers have found a 65 - 70% acceptance rate on friend requests sent from within the game. They also found an added benefit of a 16% increase in gift sending.
Launched a new App Requests API, enabling users to send gifts and/or invites to friends. This is a new user to user gifting and invite channel for apps.
The feedback we've heard from developers was to enhance our viral
channels. We believe these new features are a big step forward, and we'll
continue to improve and find new ways to grow apps virally on our site. We've gotten some great initial stats from
test partners, which we've included below.
We hope you enjoy the new features, here's more details about each
The stream is becoming an increasingly popular and an effective
way for apps to acquire new users. We recently launched Sync with
Facebook, allowing users to sync their myspace updates, including some app
activities, with Facebook. App
activities allow users to share the level they've achieved in a game, boast
beating a friend at poker, or show off the new pet they've adopted.
Currently most onsite app developers use our Activities
API to post app activities into the myspace Stream. Now, we'd like to recommend another way for
onsite apps to utilize the myspace stream - by using Share on myspace. With
Share on myspace, an app has
increased flexibility and added benefits.
Apps are able to share more types of content into the stream, like links
and photos. Developers are also able to
include an externally hosted image with the stream activity. This means
developers can quickly customize and test photos associated with stream
content. Currently, our Activities API only allows developers to include a
photo that's been uploaded to myspace. Using Share on myspace is a smart
and easy alternative for app developers to maximize using the stream.
Initial Stats: Using Share on myspace now
accounts for 10-20% of new installs per
day for some games. It has quickly
become the second largest source of
installs behind invites during our initial testing. Companies have seen an increase of 14x the CTR on app activities in the
stream using Share on myspace over our current Activities API.
Check out our wiki documentation for Share on myspaceMore information on Share on myspace
Our new In-Game Friending API gives developers the new
ability for users to friend each other within a game. This feature allows
users to make new friends in order to add neighbors, clan members, or players
to a game.
Initial Stats: After a few days of testing, some developers have found a 65 - 70% acceptance rate on friend
requests sent from within the game. Most
people accepted friends within several hours, showing that users were looking for
more people to play games with right away. An added benefit of implementing this feature was a 16% increase in gift sending. New
friends made within the game sent each other more gifts, leading to increased
Check out our wiki documentation for In-Game Friending API
APP REQUESTS API
We're also excited to bring developers a new ability for
apps to send gifts and/or invites to users. This new viral channel allows
users to accept and send gifts and other type of requests to friends. Users are also able
to accept and send an invite to play a new game with a gift or request attached
to the invite.
We've found that on myspace user-to-user communication
channels are more effective than app-to-user communication. So, we expect
this new channel to drive more re-engagement within games since it's a more personal
(1:1) form of communication. We also expect it to also drive more
conversions of users to your games since gifts can accompany an invite to add
the game, which is more compelling than a simple invite. The goal with
this new channel is to make apps/games more personalized and engaging, and
provide developers the mechanism to get users to perform viral actions. The key
is that this communication comes from a friend, creating social influence and a
more personalized recommendation to add the app.
Now that we've added this new communication channel, we
thought it would be wise to give everyone a breakdown of what app communication
channels are available, what they're for, and what the differences are between
them all. Hope this is helpful and let us know what metrics you're seeing with
this new communications channel.
Check out our wiki documentation for App Requests API
Today we're introducing Sync with Facebook, www.myspace.com/guide/sync, which
allows MySpace users, musicians, and celebrities around the world to sync their
status updates with their Facebook profile or Page, while also offering them
the ability to share content such as game activity, music, videos, links and
photos with their friends on Facebook.
with Facebook allows users to keep their friends on Facebook up to date on
everything, including: sharing songs, latest photos, fun game apps, and more.
when a user adds a game on MySpace, it will now be broadcast to that users'
Facebook friends in their Facebook stream. Users who click on the stream
activity within Facebook are taken to the game's profile page on MySpace so
that logged in and non-logged in users can see the content. At launch we
are syncing game install activity, but are working to sync more gaming related
activities with the Facebook stream.
opportunities to experience and share this type of entertainment content are
endless. This is particularly exciting for artists who can now use this tool as
a complement to their MySpace Music presence and share their vast library of
content, including full album catalogs, to people who've liked their Facebook
Here are a few screenshots of how the sync
functionality will look:
And here's an example of what a MySpace game activity will look like on Facebook.
with Facebook is easy to set up:
Users continue to have the option to sync to
Twitter as well. Once you've synced your Facebook account, simply update your
status on MySpace as you normally would (from your Home page, Status and Mood page, or mobile phone). When you update your
status on MySpace, it will then be shared with friends on Facebook.
This new sync functionality is part of an ongoing effort to make
it simple for people to share their updates beyond MySpace and allow fans and
friends to interact with that content across the web.
always, let us know what you think.
of Product, Stream
We've recently made some changes to our global search product to
allow users to discover games more easily. Our current search product is tabbed
by content vertical, so users can search for something within Music or Video.
We have now added a Games tab to search, so users can more easily find the
games they're looking for. We have also included an auto-complete feature that
suggests content for users, further making it easy to find the content you
want. We hope that the new Games search
contributes to more of our users discovering fun, new games.
Several months ago we evaluated our internal search product and
realized that if we were going to deliver a better search experience, it was
necessary to revamp how we implemented search, end to end - creating an
extensible platform for ingesting search data (in this case, information about
each game), all the way to a brand new, fast, consistent, modern, user experience
supporting both .NET and non-.NET platforms.
During the process we even switched from .NET to Java! Our first step on this long "search in a box"
journey is complete, and it's a big milestone for us and for Games. We're
looking forward to making even more enhancements to the search experience,
improving the visibility and discoverability of great content.
Note the difference!
New search experience for ‘mobsters'
search experience for ‘mobsters'
- Bill Bliss, VP & GM of Search and Recommendations
Over the past few days we have been testing
different options for the amount of apps a user can display on their homepage
(UHP) and profile. Due to this testing, some of your apps may be affected
and may not show on the UHP or profile for some users. We are
constantly testing different ways to optimize the user experience, and we will continue to test
options for limiting and smartly surfacing apps that are displayed on a users'
homepage and profile.
In the example below, the game Happy Aquarium is showing dynamic content from
the game by displaying what level the
user is on as well as hunger and cleanliness levels. In the
profile surface, the user
can show off what their fish tank looks like to
everyone. The surfaces look good and create value, good job Happy Aquarium!
Example: User profile module
As users log-in to MySpace, there is a prompt to opt-in for an early look at the new homepage. The homepage will be rolled out and formally launched to all users next week. New features include:
Check out the new user homepage:
This is the first of a series of changes to the UHP that you'll see in the coming months. We look forward to rolling out products that will further improve the ability to quickly and easily surface content that matches your interests.
To learn more, check out our page with details on how to upgrade and let us know what you think.
pirates, ninjas, and developers... just a quick update on our efforts to limit
(throttle) the number of invites a user can send via an app per day. In the original blog post, we communicated the plan was to initially limit invites that can be sent to 100 per day per user per app; and then further reduce the limit down to 40. Those changes have gone into effect (July 14th), and we have been analyzing the results.
For more info on invites, check out the Invites
Today we began testing the location of two new ad units on
the App Canvas page (the game play surface). Since the units appear in the
gutters of App Canvas pages (the game play surface area), they will not affect
the current size of the Canvas page. The goal of these new ad units is to help
developers increase awareness and conversions of their game or app without
negatively impacting engagement time per game. We want to encourage the
discoverability of new games to our users, and because the test ads appear only
to users who have added a game, they are inherently targeted to those users
most likely to play games on MySpace.
Let us know what you think and if you’re interested in testing out this new ad
unit with us, email me email@example.com.
We've been getting occassional reports of apps written in 1.0 not showing when they correctly specify a content block for the profile surface.
<Content type="html" view="profile">
While we've solved most of the issues, developers are still reporting occassional problems. The sure way to solve this problem is to use the super-secret, undocumented (until now) extension to force recognition of a view. This is done by adding the MySpace-Views feature block to the ModulePrefs section. In this block you can specify the anchor location for your profile view (left or right), as well as initial sizing on all views.
<ModulePrefs title="MySpace specific app settings"
When the MySpace-Views feature is found in the gadget and a profilesize and profilelocation are specified, you force the gadget to recognize that it has a profile view.
Valid values for profilelocation: left | right
Valid values for profilesize: width,height | height
We are continuing to add new ways for users to engage with their Apps and Games on MySpace. Today we have added a shortcut to users’ Apps from the WebIM bar. All users by default have access to the WebIM bar, and it persistent at the bottom of their screen while logged into MySpace. A small icon for the last three Apps the user has played appears, with an arrow that when clicked on displays all the Apps a user has added. The goal of adding the Apps shortcut is to enable quick access to users’ Apps and Games from wherever they are within MySpace.We hope this new, persistent engagement channel helps users easily play the Games they love. We’ll be keeping an eye on engagement levels within Apps to see how it performs, but keep us posted what you think and if your metrics are impacted.
quick heads up that we have some planned network maintenance scheduled for
tomorrow morning, June 15th. The maintenance window is from 7:00AM - 10:00AM
(PST). We have scheduled it in the morning to minimize disruption. The
impact during this window will be the following:
will not be able to add new applications (users will still be able to play
apps they’ve already added.
will not be able to uninstall applications
will not be able to change application settings
will not be able to connect new accounts to MySpaceID-enabled sites (if an
account is connected already it will work fine)
won’t be able to manage their applications
for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.
most of you are taking advantage of our App Notifications
feature. Anecdotally we hear that app notifications contribute to over 20% of traffic for games on MySpace, so if you’re not using this viral channel you’re missing out! Are your notifications driving as much user engagement
you had hoped?
Check out our
new wiki document, App Notifications Best
Practices for some tips on making the most of notifications.
the notification add some value for the player
in your game. Reward the user in some way, such as giving out an
item for free for responding to the notification.
Or, show them
something personalized from their progress in
the game that would draw the user’s interest and encourage a visit to
generic notifications that have no more value
than an advertisement.
Check out the
full document here:
hosting to business software, here are some of the companies offering unique
services for developers to check out:
promotions will be posted on our website but we'll be updating the page so be
sure to check back often HERE. Also, let
us know if your company is interested in extending a discount on your service
to MySpace developers. Drop us a note at DeveloperServices@myspace-inc.com.
As a part of our efforts to offer developers public real-time data
to enhance their applications, we’ve added song and video plays to our
Real-Time Stream. These are based on the Activity
Stream spec. The song plays include metadata about the artist and song,
including song name and link, duration, artist and artist URL, album and album
thumbnail. The video data includes title/description, a thumbnail, link,
duration, and author. Developers could use this new data in the stream to
build a real-time trend analysis on all popular songs or videos being played at
any given moment. Also, it can also give a pulse of what artists are hot at
Since we launched
our Real-Time Stream API, we’ve seen many companies, like Collecta, using it
to enhance their site. Our RTS pushes out rich data the moment it has been
published, with public and private channels that respect users’ privacy. To
Partnering with our developers is key and opening the platform allows MySpace and its users to benefit from the creativity of the developer community. We’ve also been working with Playdom to incorporate their feedback and refine our product roadmap priorities.
“Working closely with MySpace has allowed us to launch and extend successful titles like Mobsters and Sorority Life,” said John Pleasants, chief executive officer of Playdom. “As we continue to collaborate, MySpace has been receptive to our feedback to update the platform with improved promotional and viral channels. Our symbiotic partnership ensures that our shared users will continue to enjoy unique social gaming experiences.”
In addition to this news, we also want to share the latest updates from some of our game developer partners. Zynga continues to recognize the value of the MySpace platform and is extending the popular Mafia Wars title by allowing MySpace users to unlock the Bangkok chapter of the game. As one of the most popular social gaming developers, we’re excited to offer their games to the avid social gamers on MySpace.
“Social gaming is a powerful way for people to connect with each other,” said Vish Makhijani, Senior Vice President of Business Operations at Zynga. “As we extend our titles to different places on the Web, MySpace provides an audience of social gamers that engage frequently with games and are excited to discover and share those experiences with others.”
Another nod to the growth of social gaming in general, support for Open Social is on the rise. As you may haveseen, MySpace implemented OpenSocial 1.0 and is eager to educate the developer audience on how to use it. Sean Ryan, the chairman of virtual world service Meez, recently wrote a guest column for Inside Social Games explaining why he believes the Open Social standard is due for big growth this year. He also highlighted recent success in working with MySpace to increase Meez’s user base to almost 500,000 active users after six weeks on MySpace.
Separately, Lalit Sarna, CEO of Oxylabs, who was an early adopter of the OpenSocial standard, has launched five applications on MySpace in the past year. Ranging from fun apps like PhotoBuzz to social games like Mafia Resurrection, each of the apps have monetized well. Just ask Sarna:
“MySpace offers the largest OpenSocial user-base and gamers on the site are really excited to experiment and discover new social games” said Sarna. “The entire OpenSocial community offers a lot of support and MySpace has been a great partner as our company has grown from a small to mid-sized development house.”
We’re also building the right team to spearhead the evolution of MySpace Games. You may have noticed the recent introduction of new leadership to the MySpace team with the addition of Manu Rekhi who is the new General Manager of MySpace Games and Developer Platform.
We’d like to start a conversation to see how MySpace can support your games. Contact our platform team at PartnerRelations@myspace-inc.com.