Fans flock to Virtual Worlds on Facebook

A year ago we looked at the popuarlity of Facebook fan-pages for a number of popular virtual worlds, including those with users under 13. The results, i.e. the number of respective fans for each virtual world were not surprising, with the larger worlds enjoying a higher number of fans than the smaller ones.

The chart below shows the same analysis one year on. Across the board – increases. But of course that’s to be expected as these virtual worlds (and most others, regardless of target market) use Facebook for a variety of reasons. And, of course Facebook itself is grown.

Some worlds actually use Facebook to communicate directly to parents of their users, whilst others promote events and competitions. Another growth area is using Facebook during beta trials to both recruit new users and . Probably the area with the biggest potential is . More about that in a future post.


So what do we see here?

maintains pole position with a huge number of fans (in reality they actually even more fans then we’re showing in the chart but we’ve taken the fan-page with the highest following).

They’ll be breaking through 1m fans and on the tails of pretty soon. We’ve taken IMVU out of this analysis because this focus is on KT&T.

has grown massively during the last year with 500k fans now with Hello Kitty Online (note – a young brand) coming in with over 300k fans.

Another future post and supporting report will look right across the spectrum of all virtual worlds using Facebook as an acqusition and retention tool.

Moving on, some of you may look at the chart above and comment that Facebook itself has grown significantly over the same 12 month period so seeing increases in the fan-pages of virtual worlds (and any other group on Facebook) shouldn’t be a surprise. We asked ourselves the same question and did some further analysis.

We’ve done an index analysis comparing the growth in fans vs. the growth of Facebook overall. Here’s the boring bit: 12 months ago, Facebook stood around 500m accounts, now it’s at 750m, so that’s a 50% growth. We then worked out the % growth for each of the virtual worlds shown and divided this number by the Facebook growth number, the result being an index. It’s below.

An index of 1 (one) would mean a virtual world has grown proportionately the same size as Facebook.

An index below one means a virtual world has grown slower than Facebook and stating the obvious, an index over 1 means the world has grown proportionately faster than Facebook.

The headline – the number of Facebook fans of these virtual worlds has grown at a rate faster than the growth of Facebook as a whole.

Looking at Habbo, which has the largest following in absolute terms, their index is 1.4, meaning they’ve grown at a rate 40% greater than Facebook, but it’s actually the lowest index of all worlds shown – but I doubt they’ll be losing sleep over this.

The highest index belows to Moshi Monsters – and it’s a pretty impressive number, standing at 10.2. In real terms this is an increase from 28k to 172k fans in a year. Second highest is Dofus with 9.7.

If you’re an up and coming virtual world, the flags are clearly already in the ground. Go get ‘em.

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