Striking Differences On Social Networks Over The Plow And The Sword

Aug 6, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

I have no idea what this means or if it has any relevancy to recruitment at all, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to note for the ERE record that farm and barnyard games are big on Facebook while MySpace users seem to lean more toward the sword than the plow.

These gems of data come from Inside Social Games, a well-researched blog tracking the convergence of games and social networks. The blog periodically reports on the number of Facebook and MySpace game users. Since both sites report different numbers — Facebook reports active monthly users; MySpace publishes only total users — direct comparisons can’t be made. Still, the lists of the top 25 games on each site are interesting.

On Facebook, 16.7 million users played Farmville in July, an increase of 11.6 million for the fairly new game. That made it the No. 1 game on Facebook, bumping perennial favorite Texas Hold ‘Em out of the top slot. Farm Town and Barn Buddy also moved ahead vigorously.

These games, by the way, are pretty much just as they sound. You plant and tend crops, raise animals, and build relationships with fellow farmers who can help you with various chores. With Barn Buddy you can even wreak plagues and other agricultural mayhem.

MySpace players, by contrast, have a penchant for anything with the word “war” in the title or gangster in the plot. Mobsters is the top game on that site, with 13.8 million users. Next in popularity is Mafia Wars wtih 12.4 million users. Also on the list are such others as Fashion Wars, Dragon Wars, and Gang Wars.

Like the farm games, the gangsta games are what you expect. The pitch for Gang Wars says, “Start a gang with your friends, do jobs, buy powerful weapons, and fight!”

There’s some genre crossover on both sites, but the difference in game preference between them is quite striking. See for yourself by checking out the lists in the metrics category on Inside Social Games.

What’s it all mean? No idea, but I’m eager to hear your opinion. So feel free to comment.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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