From social media and maps to games and news updates, mobile and web apps are now fulfilling many of our day-to-day tasks in a faster and more convenient way than before. Reading the news, sending mail, reading and updating social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, and downloading or streaming music and videos are things that in the past we would have done through web pages. As part of a 2012 review, Netimperative looks back at the 10 most popular gaming and app news stories and trends of the year.
This year saw both Google expand in-app advertising, Facebook open its own app store, Amazon launch its own Kindle Fire tablet and Apple continue its domination of the market.
On the gaming front, Zynga began the year on a high (making 12% of Facebook’s sales) and opening its own standalone gaming site, but ended the year splitting up with the social network and axing 5% of its workforce.
The games-maker suffered from association with Facebook’s IPO fiasco and a misguided purchase of ‘Draw Something’ creator Omgpop. What a difference a year makes…
View our top 10 biggest digital media headlines below.
Google opens AdWords to 300,000 apps via AdMob integration
Google has integrated its AdMob mobile platform with AdWords, allowing purchases across both networks from a single dashboard. The move adds about 350 million mobile users, 300,000 mobile apps and 12 countries to AdWords’ reach. AdWords currently reaches two million websites, so the move is likely to make Google’s mobile ad services more attractive to advertisers as they have a broader reach.
Facebook opens mobile app ads to all developers
Facebook is letting mobile app developers promote their ads within the ‘Try These Games’ box right in the middle of the mobile news feed. Following a beta trial this summer, the company’s mobile app ads are now open to everyone. All developers on the social network can build ads that link from Facebook’s Android and iOS apps to either Google Play or the App Store, offering both an easy plug for their native apps and that all-important ad revenue for Facebook.
Apple reveals top 25 apps of all time
Apple has revealed the top 25 paid and free apps, in terms of downloads, from its app store, with games being the most popular category. The 17 of the top 25 all time best selling paid apps on iPhone in the US are games, with Rovio’s record-selling Angry Birds taking the top spot.
Xbox avoids ban in US and Germany after Motorola case rejected
A US judge has ruled that Google’s Motorola unit cannot ban sales of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 games console because of a patent dispute. Back in May 2012, a German court awarded Motorola the right to ban Microsoft’s Xbox console, its Internet Explorer browser and Windows Media Player in Germany due of the dispute.
Zynga to axe 5% of workforce
Zynga plans to shed 5% of its workforce, as the embattled games developer looks to save money following waning demand for some its its titles. In an email to staff, founder Mark Pincus said the company would close its Boston studio and consider closing studios in the UK and Japan. It is be the first ever round of job cuts at Zynga, which is based in San Francisco and has about 3,200 employees.
Revealed: Zynga accounts for 12% of Facebook’s revenue
The full extent of Facebook’s reliance on Zynga was revealed this week, with the social network receiving 12% of its revenue from the games maker last year. In its S-1 regulatory filing Wednesday, Facebook reported that it received 12% of its revenue in 2011 from Zynga, whose social games such as CityVille and Mafia Wars have drawn several hundred million players to Facebook over the years. Zynga launched its own IPO in December. With $3.7 billion in total annual revenue for Facebook, that translates to roughly $444 million in direct payments from Zynga.
From social to mobile: Zynga snaps up mobile game maker Omgpop
Farmville creator Zynga has bought Omgpop, as the Farmville creator looks to expand beyond its Facebook platform and into mobile games. New York-based Omgpop rose into prominence six weeks ago when it released Draw Something, currently the top title on Apple’s App Store. Omgpop was formed in 2006 and already has 35 mobile games on the market.
Music app SongPop gets 4 million players per day
SongPop, a ‘name that tune’ game for smartphones and tablets, has taken the market by storm, attracting 25 million unique players since its launch only four months ago. The game lets users show off their musical-recognition talent through challenges with friends and users all across the globe. The game’s makers FreshPlanet announced that SongPop has now 25 million unique players, getting a consistent five-star rating, and 4 million people playing the game every day.
Breaking into the top 25 App Store chart- How many downloads do you need?
To make it into Apple’s lucrative ‘top free 25 list’, apps require approximately 38,400 daily downloads, according to new data. The research, from app tracking firm Distimo, used the company’s monitoring tool to calculate apps downloaded. The study found that approximately 38,400 daily downloads are needed to make it onto the top 25 free apps chart.
For a full review of the year, including our pick or the top virals, oddest news and biggest marketing blunders, click here