Mar 092011

I was interviewed by Andrew Collins in December’s Hyper Magazine about Social and Augmented Reality gaming. Hyper magazine is a great game monthly and a regular buy for me with its pretty solid reviews and impartial editorial for the game world as well as some forward looking features. The gaming industry is close to a precipice as games spill out into the real world (as I have blogged about many times before!) so I thought I would publish the article (and my interview on which much of the article is based) this week as the race for the augmented reality, locative game space trophy truly begins and the contestants line up on the starting grid…

  1. Sony with it’s NGP virtual treasure hunts
  2. Nintendo’s 3DS games in the real world AR launch
  3. a multitude of Android AR game apps in development/release and in case you missed it
  4. about to be released the iPad 2 with it’s dual camera support for Augmented Reality locative games and all the iPhone AR apps that will flood across
  5. and of course

Mid to late 2011 is going to be significant – a fun, social, locative augmented reality game nirvana. Perhaps the real battle though is going to be between locked down, TV room, single player console gaming vs open, social, locative casual AR gaming? Interview after the cover…



Traditional game developers are extending the gaming experience beyond what appears on the retail disc and into the social realm, rewarding players for exploring media outside of the console and the PC.

Andrew Collins takes a look at what’s on offer

Casual social networking games have exploded in popularity recently, with a bunch of casual game developers popping out of the woodwork producing low-tech but addictive games. Now traditional game developers and publishers have joined the party, seeking to adapt the trend to their own needs, and their own games.

This bleed of PC and console games out into social networking services has immense potential. There’s a whole world of cool stuff going on right now, and even greater stuff just around the corner – that has the potential to change the way we game completely.

You probably already know the most basic form of this blend of traditional and social gaming: the automatic status update. Many games now will notify your Facebook or Twitter contacts when you accomplish a goal in-game.

It’s unfortunate that this is the most recognisable example of this trend; at best, it’s annoying, and at worst, it’s annoying as hell. Do you really care that your flatmate’s cousin’s boyfriend just unlocked an achievement in FIFA 11? How do you feel when he unlocks 10 in the space of half an hour, flooding your social networking news feed?

Fortunately, developers have realised this and have moved on to integrating gaming and social networking in more interesting ways that suit us all.


Before we look at these developments, it’s worth looking at why the games industry is embracing social networking.

As we found out in issue 204, the market for casual social networking games is booming, generating ridiculous amounts of revenue for those lucky or smart enough to have a finger in this lucrative social pie.

But the learned readers of Hyper are not the only ones who have cottoned on to this fact. Traditional games developers and publishers have seen the sheer number of people drawn into this social gaming trend, and have realised that it could work for them – not as a direct source of revenue, but rather as a form of marketing.

Put simply, every time you tell your 600 Facebook friends what game you’re playing, you’re giving the publisher 600 free ads for their game, and giving the game your own personal stamp of approval. Congratulations! You are advertising space.

Gary Hayes is an expert on the relationship between games and social networking. He has a terribly long bio – far too long to reproduce in full here – with experience in TV, music, virtual worlds, game production, lecturing, and many, many other things. He’s most succinctly described as a `transmedia guru’ – someone who dwells in the overlap of different mediums.

According to Hayes, this venture of traditional gaming into social networking isn’t a short lived gimmick that just a few companies are toying with – it’s now a necessity for developers.

“From an economic point of view, given the massive rise of social games over the last couple of years, and the decline in console games generally (in June of this year there was around a 10% drop in total game industry sales, down to about $6.7 billion), traditional games developers – EA and Ubisoft and so on – are looking at social gaming as really a pretty important part of the mix that they need to be involved in,” Hayes says.

“It’s part of their survival,” he says. “There’s a quote from Alex St. John [DirectX creator and social gaming producer] who says that if a game doesn’t have a social element, it’s going to be dead before it starts out, in the future.”


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Oct 112010

Always keen to see the latest, worthy research into those young wipper-snappers that apparently are our future so was lucky to be sent some insights today into Australian Youth, 4 million of them aged 16-30,  from Urban Market Research (UMR) a joint initiative between Lifelounge and Sweeney Research.

There are the usual eye opening statistics, multi-tasking, mobile texting, overuse of social networks and so on (listed below) but the research is more interesting as it digs a little deeper and explores a few emergent behaviours, from years of doing all of the above.


The survey shows that multi platform storytelling, while slightly alien to those older folk indoctrinated with linear, mono media is an absolute natural space for this age group – they swim and immerse themselves in multi media and like the proverbial fish are unaware of the water they breathe and that surrounds them.

“While multitasking when consuming online and other media has been growing in recent years, it is now the norm.  The research confirms life online is frantic, with over 80% of the youth market ‘doing other things’ while surfing the web and being active on social networks…it also reveals ‘interruptive’ marketing tactics are out, in favour of a more ‘discovery-led’ approach that allows young people to unearth new products, artists and fashion labels in their own time, and bank the street cred that comes with it.” – This group also cannot live without “An internet connection and mobile phone were rated the two top things UMR respondents couldn’t live without (30% and 20% respectively) over their car, TV, alcohol, favourite piece of clothing, drugs and favourite movies.  Being connected is important.”

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The Count

 Posted by on September 29, 2009 at 1:02 am  Add comments

Click for App Store Page

Original Counter and Post from 24 Sep 2009!

August 2016  ‘Social’ Update

  • YouTube mobile videos viewed 1 billion per day Source Jul 2016
  • Photos on Instagram 95 mill daily Source Jun 16
  • Likes on Facebook 10 bill per day Source Jun 2016
  • YouTube ad revenue $4.28 bill per year Source 2015
  • Hours streamed on netflix 42.5 bill per year Source Jan 2016
  • Snapchat video views 10 bill per day Source
  • iPhones sold $150 bill per year Source 2016
  • New mobile social users 1 mill per day Source Nov 2015
  • Plus 1s on Google Plus 5 bill per day Source Nov 13
  • Money made in US from PokemonGo $1.6 mill per day Source Jul 2016
  • Messages on Facebook messenger & WhatsApp 60 bill per day Source Nov 2015
  • Likes on Instagram 4.2 bill daily Source Jun 16
  • Profiles viewed on LinkedIn 25 mill per day Source  Jan 2016
  • Photos uploaded to Facebook 400 mill per day Source Feb 2015
  • Snapchat photos shared 9000 per second Source Jan 2016
  • Google searches 100 bill per month Source 2016
  • Videos viewed on Facebook 8 bill per day Source Jan 2016
  • Users joining LinkedIn 2 per second Source Nov 2014
  • Searches on Facebook 1.5 bill per day Source Nov 2015
  • Videos watched on YouTube 5 bill per day Source Jul 2016
  • Hours uploaded to YouTube 400 hrs per minute Source Nov 2015
  • Tweets tweeted 6000 per second Source Jun 2016

June 2013 ‘Social’ Update (mobile, games & heritage to come)

  • 2.7 billion likes on Facebook daily Source May 13
  • 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute Source May 13
  • 1.5 million Android phones activated daily Source May 13
  • 13.7 billion Google searches per month  Source Mar 13
  • 350 million photos loaded to Facebook daily Source May 13
  • 2.5 billion ads served on YouTube monthly Source Mar 13
  • 4 billion Tweets sent daily Source Mar 13
  • 5 million images loaded to Instagram daily – May 13
  • 5 billion minutes spent watching online video ads monthly Source Mar 13
  • 343 million new users of Google + monthly Source Jan 13
  • $5 billion made by Facebook 2012 Source May 13
  • 833 thousand Apple iOS devices sold daily – Jan 13
  • 4 billion hours of content streamed over Netflix per quarter Source Apr 13
  • 5 million press the Google+ button daily – May 13
  • 400 million made by Twitter per year from ad revenue Source May 13
  • 250 million users login and play a Facebook game monthly Source May 13
  • 1.28 billion YouTube videos are watched monthly Source Mar 13
  • 250 million Android apps installed every month Source Mar 13
  • 656 per second likes & comments by Instagram users on Facebook Source Jan 13
  • 3.4 billion searches on Bing per month  Jan 13
  • 2.1 billion searches on Twitter per day Source May 13

June 2012 ‘Social’ Update

  • 3.2 billion likes and comments on Facebook daily Source Apr-12
  • 40 billion android and IOS apps downloaded monthly Source Mar-12
  • 2 million blogs posts written daily Source Mar-12
  • 175 million tweets sent daily Source Feb-12
  • YouTube has 2 billion plays per day Source Apr-12
  • The Google+ button is pressed 5 billion times daily Source Feb-12
  • There are 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook daily Source Apr-12
  • 294 billion emails sent per day Source Mar-12
  • Samsung sells 42.2 million smartphones each quarter Source Mar-12
  • 2.2 million pages added to StumbleUpon monthly Source Feb-12
  • Pinterest gets 17 million visits daily Source Mar-12
  • Facebook has an annual net income of $1 billion Source Feb-12
  • Daily videos uploaded to YouTube is 829 440 Source Apr-12
  • 58 photos per second uploaded via Instagram Source Mar-12
  • 66 million iPads sold annually since early 2011 Source Mar-12
  • G+ gains 625 000 more users each day Source Feb-12
  • 22 million hours of TV & Movies watched on Netflix daily Source Mar-12
  • Facebook gets 526 million users daily Source Apr-12

August 2011 Update

  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month Source Jul-11
  • 550,000 Android-enabled phones are activated every day Source Jul 11
  • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute Source May-11
  • $2.1 billion per year are spent on Virtual Goods in the US Source May-11
  • 1 billion tweets are sent per week Source Mar-11
  • YouTube per day has over 3 billion video views Source May-11
  • There are currrently 10 billion iPhone apps downloaded each year Source Jul-11
  • 20 million people joined Google + in the first 3 weeks Source Aug-11
  • There were 80 million new FB accounts 1st quarter 2011 Source Apr-11
  • 460,000 New twitter accounts daily Source Mar-11
  • There are 50 million likes of Facebook pages per day Source May-11
  • Skype users make 300 Million Minutes of Video Calling Per Month Source Jul-11
  • Google Chrome browser webt from 10-20% of global browser share in 10 months Source Jul-11
  • There are now one million new LinkedIn members every week Source Apr-11
  • Facebook ad revenues per year now more than $4 billion Source Jan-11
  • Google + users pressing +1 over 2.5 billion times every day Source Jul-11

ABOUT Living statistics  – Many of us who have been following social media since the early 90s are very sensitive to today’s exponential growth in usage of the sharing web. Inspired by other cool real time counters, Social Media Industry Head, Laurel Papworth, my own Rise & Rise of Social Media presentations and various ‘cool’ videos (you know the ones) I decided to put together this little Flash app (which is in constant development) showing how active & dynamic the Social Web, Mobile Industry and Game Business is.

If you want to embed this on your page just click the button in the bottom left of the app to copy the code to your clipboard OR use the code/s in the boxes at the bottom of this post. Drag select it all then copy/paste into any site. Use this code as I will be regularly updating it with latest stats.

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