“Rage Against Rules,” declares a bolded headline in The New York Post today, which collected stats from App Data to paint a portrait of a flailing Instagram. The Post claims that following the terms of service debacle, which supposedly had both normals and celebrities fleeing the app, Instagram’s total active users has plunged 25 percent.
The app reportedly peaked at 16.4 million daily active users the week of Dec. 17, but has decreased to 12.4 million as of Dec. 27.
This is the Summer of Zynga’s discontent. There are Zynga’s stock woes, which have prompted Forbes to question whether the gaming company is really worth any money at all. Forbes‘s Eric Savitz writes that “the market is basically saying it simply does not see any long-term value in the company’s ongoing business.”
Then there’s also this class action suit filed against Zynga in a California Superior Court on July 16, which alleges Zynga failed to pay overtime and has unfair business practices.
It appears that Zynga, the evil mastermind behind FarmVille and Mafia Wars, is not completely hell-bent on destroying the world. The online game producer turned super villain announced today that it would help design a Facebook game to fight the oppression of women around the world.
The game is based on the novel Half the Sky, which follows the lives of women who have been victimized through sexual violence and trafficking, insufficient educational and financial opportunities and poor healthcare. It is part of a larger multimedia effort based on the book’s themes that will include a PBS miniseries as well as mobile games in India and Africa.
Today, Zynga is hosting the press (and their dogs) at its San Francisco HQ for something called “Unleashed,” where the company will presumably be “unleashing” some new games. Let’s hope they’re a little more entertaining than that pun, because, as the New York Times points out, the company could use some help.
It’s not like Zynga’s woes are a secret: Shares are currently at $6.07, having debuted at $10 and spent time under $5. More people are gaming on mobile devices, and Facebook’s growth is slowing. The company shelled out $180 million for Draw Something, which is currently cratering. That just goes to show you how quickly games fall out of fashion, which makes planning awfully hard.
Also, just yesterday, EA launched the open beta of its social take on SimCity, which was previously announced with a trailer proclaiming “more city, less ville,” to the sounds of Best Coast’s “The Only Place.” Ouch, guys.
Gaming the System
Obviously, regular old ebooks have arrived and they’re not going anywhere. Amazon now sells more Kindle books than print; ebook sales are the fastest-growing in the business. But now that readers have embraced the digital, here comes the next wave, says Wired: “enhanced ebooks,” which incorporate video and interactive elements. That’s all well and good, until someone starts throwing around the term “literary Farmville.”
Sheep On Leashes
From the company that plastered stickers all over the Lower East Side to promote Mafia Wars comes a sheep parade to promote the launch of a Farmville permutation called English Countryside.
It’s all about Facebook.
That was the general consensus of the noisy and mildly-lubricated crowd that had gathered last night in the upstairs balcony of Stitch, an after-work bar in the Garment District.
It was the afterparty for the Social Gaming Summit, a conference that lured developers and entrepreneurs from as far as Montreal, Read More