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The Launch of Facebook Places Creates the Opportunity for Location Based Games
Posted: 27-Aug-2010 [Source: Sony Ericsson]

[Sony Ericsson says Facebook Places function offers opportunity for locality based gaming.]

London, UK -- As Facebook launches its Places function in the United States, meaning users of the social media site's mobile phone applications can 'check-in' to places they visit, there is now an opportunity for brands to create locality based games, says Sony Ericsson. Many socialised games, like real-time simulations and free online pinball, are available on Facebook but the social networking site could be on the cusp of a hosting new breed of gaming focused on visiting locations.

Nielsen recently reported that the average American spends almost a fifth of their internet time on social media sites. This increase of 16 per cent, in just one year, is expected to continue rising as more and more users purchase internet ready mobile devices, enabling them to connect with friends on the move. This information, coupled with the news that 40 per cent of Facebook users' time is spent playing games, is an indication that Facebook Places has the potential of being used for more than users just sharing and commenting their current location.

The popular geo-based mobile application, Foursquare, encourages users to interact in a way that uses typical game-playing techniques. Points are collected for finding new places, making multiple stops as well as checking-in to places with friends and some retailers even offer freebees for a certain number of points. Big brands that are already familiar with creating Facebook games to reach new audiences and give people back a fun reward for being a fan could soon be utilising Places in even more creative and interactive ways than exits with Foursquare. Money saving promotions and free products are already an attractive proposition to Facebook page followers but games with bigger prizes, founded on where people visit, when and how many times is an innovative opportunity that brands won't want to miss out on.

Sony Ericsson's internet pinball game, Emusicon, has been a successful engagement tool on Facebook, bringing new supporters to its page, not least because of its simplicity and ability to work across different languages. As the brand also offers fans the chance to win its products though competitions on Facebook, potentially gaming and giveaways could join together. Before long it could be routine for games like the computer pinball, or advanced levels to games, to be unlocked via location based tasks.

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