Tapping into Social Gaming

Elliott Lemenager
Monday, Sep 12, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Americans are a social bunch. Don’t believe it? Well, here are some interesting facts about how we’re engaging with each other in the mobile world.

mobile social gaming image 

On average Americans spend 2.7 hours per day socializing on their mobile device. That’s more than twice the amount of time they spend eating and over a third of the time they spend sleeping each day. The driving force behind this behavior is the increasing number of people who have smartphones combined with the proliferation of the mobile web, which allows them to connect with people anytime, anywhere. With 1.08 billion smartphones and predictions showing that by 2014 mobile Internet usage should supersede desktop Internet usage, it’s pretty safe to say that a large portion of our population will have devices that allow them to engage with others in innovative ways.

While Americans might be spending more time socializing with their mobile devices than eating each day, mobile is also changing how they actually interact with their smartphones. Out of all the activities that people perform on their mobile devices gaming tops them all.

All this leads to why we are focused on mobile social gaming this week. It’s not because mobile marketing is the second fastest growing media channel next to social media; or that the mobile gaming industry will make $8 billion this year, (a figure that’s expected to reach $11.4 billion in 2014). It’s because we’ve seen very few organizations combine all three trends to engage their target audience.

To sum it up, mobile social gaming allows you to connect to your audience no matter where they are and no matter the time of day, it lets you leverage their social connections and influence their behavior with gaming mechanics.

Mobile Social Gaming is not just for entertainment

Mobile social gaming can be applied to almost every business to help attract, engage and move the user down a specific path that is in line with their business goals. This doesn’t mean your company needs to create the next Angry Birds. But you can create similar excitement with “gamification”—using gaming mechanics to drive game-like behavior in a non-game context.

Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Principal Scientist of Analytics wrote an insightful article on What is Gamification, Really? It’s a good launching point for further discussion this week as we dive down more into the nitty gritty of mobile social gaming.

The game layer on top of the world

The following video by Seth Priebatsch does a great job demonstrating how gamification and more importantly how mobile social gaming can be applied to businesses. If you’re crunched for time start at the five-minute mark where Seth covers four game dynamics—appointment, influence and status, rewards and communal discover. And if you’re really crunched for time, jump to 9:30 of the video for a great example of mobile social gaming.

What does Tag have to do with mobile social gaming?  

Microsoft Tag has actually been implemented in different industries already to increase engagement and awareness of mobile social games. Here are two good examples:

Throughout this week we’ll go through different examples on mobile social gaming and how Tag can be leveraged to enhance the experience. Additionally on Thursday, we’ll show you how to use two Tag features with mobile social gaming.

What we’re covering this week

Below is what’s on deck for this week’s Tag blog topics. We’ve also included a few links to get your juices flowing for both the content and conversations that will be the focus of this week.



  • Gamification: Brands implementing gaming
  • How brands are doing it: KPIs for success



  • Tag’s Top Three Implementations
  • A Weekly Wrap Up

How do you see mobile social gaming changing the way people engage? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.


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