Month: March 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

Apple turns to Facebook to sort through App Store

Apple has released an App Store Facebook app (which was aptly tagged with: “there’s a Facebook app for that”). This is a nifty move as it allows Apple a canvas from where to make discovery of apps as well as features and promotions somewhat easier.

It is noteworthy though that Apple leaves its trusty closed environment (comprised of Apple hardware, iTunes at large and the App Store) to turn to another platform for help in resolving the increasing discovery dilemma. The (Facebook) app racked up over 85,000 in a few days already, which is already 10x the number the good folks of MPlayIt managed to assemble for their iPhone Arcade, which does similar things (and, yes, I am sure they won’t be too happy).

It also highlights the increasing shift towards social discovery, and Facebook is – in my opinion (but then, and this is a disclaimer, given the work I do with Scoreloop, what do you expect?) only a first (albeit good) step: people care about what their friends say, play, do, recommend. And it is this community you need to unlock to get closer to access the social graph in ways that are meaningful to the single person. Where better to do it than from within a game or app though? 😉

But until then: good move, Apple!

Orange UK on Gaming Offensive

The UK arm of Orange, the France Telecom-owned operator that is merging with T-Mobile’s UK bit, today offered a lot of news on the mobile games side. They made an announcement on the introduction of not less than 3 different gaming services that they will be launching over the next couple of weeks:

  1. Playtomo is a social gaming service to be used within the users’ social networks (e.g. Facebook; no others were mentioned). Users can download the app (?) from Orange’s portal and then share scores etc on the social network of choice. It sounds a little like a “posh Facebook Connect” solution (and this is not meant derogatory at all!). Friends can be invited from any UK network operator.
  2. Games Zone is a subscription-service where “just” £5 per month buy you two games and a 20% discount on all others. It also offers “exclusive competitions”.
  3. The third offering is a little unclear to me: Orange will launch the aptly called “Orange iPhone Games” offering, which will feature games that are “designed specifically or published by Orange for iPhone customers”. They say it will include a variety of game genres as well as the aforementioned Playtomo. Now, this one, I am not sure about… Orange clearly looks to bolstering their brand (or, perhaps, use their brand as a lever to lift otherwise unbranded games into the limelight) but this seems like a tough proposition. It is an interesting one, too, though as it would seem the first time an operator steps into the ring as a publisher amongst many. Watch this space…

The really uplifting thing about this is that Orange clearly recognises the significance of games to their overall offering and playful interaction is – as I have often pointed out – likely to be a driver for interaction between people in the mid- and long-term.

Finally: do you think this gives any hint as to which brand will survive the merger of the Orange and T-Mobile UK operations? 😉

Carnival of the Mobilists # 217

This week’s Carnival of the Mobilists is live and, amongst other great posts, includes my take on the tremendous value to be unlocked by mobile “2.0” over the coming years.

Now, since I hope you have read that one previously, here are (some) of the posts you shouldn’t miss either:

  • Looking at the value of location-based mobile advertising;
  • Affiliate programmes as an (additional) business model for app developers;
  • App or not – again… 😉 this time though the question is raised by none other than the Chief Communication Officer of DDB Worldwide;
  • Some posts looking at services of network operators (might that have let the chasing-Apple-craze impact other service offerings?);
  • Judy Breck, keeper of the tents emeritus, looks at how mobile leverages learning…

It can all be found over at Indigo 102, namely here. And now go there, and enjoy yourself!

Mobile + Social: The Case for Games / Presentation

Here is the deck to the talk I gave at the Social Media World Forum (or rather its mobile track, which was called Mobile Social Media Europe) in London this week.

Carnival of the Mobilists # 214

This one needs to be short since GDC is now upon us but this week’s edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists, which is hosted by Andy Favell over at MobiThinking, is just too packed with goodies to let this slip.

The carnival covers everything from eBook publishing to mHealth, mobile banking (and, separately, micropayments), a ton on mobile marketing, app development, Flash or no Flash on Apple (answer: no) and much, much more.

The carnival is hosted over here, so go read, whilst I will try to survive the conference jungle… 😉

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