This article was written by Stefan Abadzhiev.
The BIG Festival took place in June this year - this is the Brazil Independent Game festival and it’s one of the largest games events in the world, most certainly the largest in South America. As you might expect, this year it was entirely online because large events are not possible in-person right now, but there were still thousands of online viewers for many of the talks and discussions.
Countries like Brazil are fascinating because, here in Europe, we often assume we are at the forefront of everything - technology, innovation, new ideas - but when you go to a completely different continent you can see that there are really interesting new ideas over there as well.
For a starter, Brazil’s adoption of many social networks is second only to the USA, which makes it the ideal place to explore trends in how social networks are evolving into channels for user acquisition and transactions. Channels like WhatsApp are already deeply integrated into life in Brazil with every business from barbers to banks offering service across this tool. Topping up on that, here is a quick fact for the info-savvy ones: When Facebook added a payment function into WhatsApp the first market to go live was Brazil.
I was really interested to hear Max Rivera from SnapChat talking about how to level up for mobile games. In short, how can you leverage on the enormous active audience popular social networks have so people learn about your mobile game? So many mobile games are published, and many fail to make any impact, so how can you get noticed?
Snapchat has some really powerful tools that help drive user acquisition for game publishers. Snapchat reaches over 90% of all 13-24 year-olds in the USA, which is a bigger reach for this demographic as opposed to Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger combined. Globally, Snapchat has almost 230 million active users every day.
A decade ago, we saw how games such as FarmVille by Zynga really leveraged on social networks, especially Facebook, to grow their user base. Mobile games can be easily tied to a preferred social network and this allows the gamer to show their status in the game and to report progress, but this in turn encourages friends to also join the game.
Similar tactics apply now, but the updates are now more visually exciting, not just a status update on a newsfeed. SnapChat is the ideal channel for updates like this because it is ephemeral - nobody wants to file away every status update from their game forever, but it’s great to at least let your friends see how you are doing. SnapChat also hits that younger demographic - the ones who think that Facebook is a tool only used by their parents.
Therefore, I truly believe that we are going to see a resurgence of games partnering closely with networks such as SnapChat, and as Max explained in his talk, they are encouraging this and responding with tools to help games creators build these links.
Let me know what you think about the opportunities for games to get more closely connected to social networks like SnapChat by leaving a comment here or get in touch directly via my LinkedIn.
About the author
Stefan holds the position of SVP Business Development in the EMEA region, with a key focus on the global Games sector. Stefan is passionate about building great business relationships, developing trustful partnerships, and creating beautiful (digital) customer experiences.