News Corp.-owned social network MySpace said around one third of its 100 million users regularly play games on its site, and revealed new viral features designed to help developers grow their apps' audiences.
Though MySpace's estimated gaming audience might seem ample, it's a fraction of those playing social games at Facebook, where Zynga's FarmVille alone draws over 60 million monthly active users. Lightspeed Research says 53 percent of the rival site's members aged 18 and over have played a social game.
MySpace's game offerings are holding players' attention, though, as its 20 most engaging apps receive an average of 80 minutes playing time per user each month, according to Inside Social Games. Vanity-focus apps like Oxylabs' What Is Your Street Reputation? are also reportedly performing particularly well on the platform.
The social network has introduced three features meant to increase the popularity of games, too. One of the features, Share, allows players to post their achievements and content (e.g. beating a friend at poker, adopting a virtual pet) from within a game to their MySpace activity stream.
Share already accounts for 10 to 20 percent of new installs per day for some games. MySpace says the new feature has become the second largest source of installs, second only to friend invites, in its initial testing. Some companies have seen a 14-fold jump on click-through rates with Share over the existing Activities API.
MySpace's In-Game Friending API is another new viral feature the social network has debuted, giving users the ability to search for friends from within a game. Some developers report a 65 to 70 percent increase in acceptance rates for friend requests sent from within a game, as well as a 16 percent boost in gift sending.
The third new feature, the App Requests API, is a channel enabling users to accept and send gifts and/or invites to others. It also allows users to accept and send invites to play a new game with a gift or request attached to the invite.
"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," said MySpace's Games and Developer Platform general manager Manu Rekhi.
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