MediaFile

Zynga plots its mobile stategy

Zynga wants to get into your pocket. As the  publisher of games like, “Word with Friends,” a Scrabble-clone popular on Apple devices and since February, on Android platforms, Zynga, known as the top games publisher on Facebook, is likely trying to reduce its reliance of Mark Zuckerberg and co’s platform.

“You should play and you should pay,” says David Ko, the former Yahoo executive who moved to Zynga in November to spearhead its mobile push.

 In a recent interview, Ko told Reuters that Zynga’s mobile strategy has two parts: Creating mobile versions of existing Web titles like ”FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars” and, having users play games on their mobile devices before anywhere else, like on “Words with Friends.”

In the U.S, Ko says, mobile games are growing at a “high clip,”  but that the faster growth is in markets like South East Asia where people are turning to games first on their smartphones since PCs are less prevalent.

“In markets like South East Asia, mobile-first experiences are going to lead the way,” Ko says.

Attention WalMart and BestBuy Shoppers – Facebook Credits on aisle 5

It’s been about nine months since Facebook rolled out its virtual currency, Facebook Credits.

Now the Internet social networking giant will make its Credits widely available in the physical world, by selling them on pre-paid gift cards available at Best Buy and FBCreditsWalMart stores in the United States.

No, you can’t use Facebook Credits to buy a six-pack of beer or a new iPod. The currency remains limited to use in the social games and applications popular on Facebook, where people can use Facebook Credits to buy virtual crops for planting in the Farmville game, for example.

from Summit Notebook:

Zynga CEO: Half of social web users will be social gamers

Don’t ask Zynga’s Mark Pincus how much money his company is making.

The founder of the hot social gaming company, which is operating at a more than $200 million yearly run rate according to sources familiar with the matter, said sharing such information would contribute to the kind of hype that would be bad for the nascent industry.

“I just hope that we can all partner to try to get the story out in a balanced way, so that the media doesn’t necessarily have to go back and forth, ‘This is the next great coming,’ and hyping it, and then two or three months later, ‘Oh they didn’t deliver on these very high expectations that we’ve all put out there,’” Pincus said in a conversation with reporters at the Reuters Media Summit.

He noted that Zynga, whose games include FarmVille and Mafia Wars, has been profitable for eight quarters and sees no reason to raise capital in a public stock offering anytime soon.

Web 2.0: Ning does Virtual Gifts and Demand Media does healthcare

With the Web 2.0 conference about to kick off in San Francisco, Internet start-ups are unveiling new products and tossing out crumbs of data about their businesses intended to illustrate how fast they’re growing.

Social-networking firm Ning led the charge on Tuesday with the news that it has grown 300 percent year-over-year to 36 million registered users and that it is jumping on the virtual goods bandwagon.

The company said it will begin selling virtual goods across the 1.6 million specialized social networks that exist on Ning for $1.50 per gift. The company said it will split 50 percent of the revenue with the Ning network creators who offer the goods on their respective networks.