Getting your Players to Connect with Facebook

facebook icon for game players to connect with each other onlineSome games have seen 2%-3% adoption rates for Facebook connect while others have seen 40%-50%. I bet you want your game to be in the second group so read on.

The first and most important thing to figure out is what do users has to gain from connecting with Facebook. What is their motivation in doing so. There are reasons why people are hesitant to connect so you need a compelling value proposition. If the only reason they should connect is because it will be easier for them to post achievements to Facebook, well that’s really not something they would appreciate. Comparing scores via Facebook leaderboard is not very compelling as well. Most users will not feel that this is a major benefits compared to an old school leaderboard (comparing scores with the entire game audience). What really makes it worthwhile for users to connect is a true social element that is built into the game and makes it more fun for users to play connected. Some examples are:
build real social interaction into your game
  • Gifting like in Candy crush and Farmville before
  • Challenge based game like Quizup or Songpop
  • Turn based game like Draw Something or Zynga Poker
  • Teams like in Clash of Clans
Once you figured out the value of connecting, you should make sure this value is communicated to the users in a clear way. Graphics would help here a lot. Try to convey how much more fun the game will be when playing with your friends vs. random people or alone.
Another important thing is to understand that some users are hesitant about being associated with a gameplaying. There are two ways in which Facebook exposes the user association with gameplay:
  • Facebook will show the gamer icon on the profile
  • When the game posts on users’ behalf the post shows up on the user wall
It’s important to assure users that you are not going to post anything without their permission. However, what you really want is for your players to actually post their achievements and glory moments. Ultimately you want users to desire being associated with the game. You should spend some time thinking about what being a gameplayer tells about the user and how to help them think about it. Here are two interesting examples:
  • Quizup – if I’m good at this, I must be smart and I want that on my profile so I’m much more likely to want to not only connect but actually post. Putting a little effort here can go along way. A touch of positioning can turn a match 3 game from a “mindless swiping game” to a “challenging brain teaser”.
  • Candy Crush – try looking up “candy crush addiction” in twitter and see how many tweets you come up with. These are not initiated by the game even. People are manually writing tweets. That’s what happens when it becomes a known phenomena.
So now that we are done with the more high level strategic stuff here are a few pieces of practical advice.

How to get people to connect to Facebook

simply ask game players to connect via facebook, also another trick is to make Facebook the easiest choice for social networking

Simply Ask – One developer I talked with reported that he was able to get 30% of his users to connect simply by repeatedly popping up a message that asks them to do so every 5 sessions or so.

Make Facebook the Easiest Choice – Users find it easier to decide between comparable. Having an alternative to the Facebook connect option that seems less favorable will make it easier for them to choose. More specifically, this set of options can work:
  • Two big ‘connect’ buttons:
    • Facebook – show your friends who is smarter
    • Email – play with random people
  • Small “single player” link – miss out on the fun
incentivise by giving rewards to players that connect with Facebook. Incentivize – You can always offer some coins as an incentive for users to connect and post. This can’t come instead of all the things listed above but can be a way to seed the early Facebook adoption and get the first users in. It can also increase adoption by 5%-10% if you already have a user base.
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