1）社交游戏开发商Zynga日前宣布将向Facebook发布一系列新产品，其中包括《CastleVille》，《Mafia Wars Shakedown》，《Hidden Chronicles》（游戏邦注：Zynga的首款寻物解谜游戏）以及数款将移植到Facebook移动平台的游戏。
其中，《CastleVille》是Zynga达拉斯工作室（前身是Bonfire Studios）的首个产品，支持玩家在其中建设一个中世纪主题的城镇，抵御动物入侵，从总体上看，它是中世纪的《CityVille》与《Empires & Allies》战斗及交易元素的合体。
《Mafia Wars Shakedown》将登陆iOS和Android平台，《DreamZoo》这款动物园主题游戏也即将发布iOS版本，《Zynga Bingo》则是一款类似于《Zynga Poker》的社交游戏。
4）Efficient Frontier和Context Optional最新调查报告显示，市场营销人员今年第三季度在Facebook投入的广告费用比第二季度增长25%，平均每点击成本（CPC）同比上季度增长54%。
6）Zynga首席执行官Mark Pincus近日宣布将推出社交移动网站Zynga Direct（绑定了Facebook Connect功能），该服务似乎就是传说中的ZLive平台的最终版本。
值得注意的是，Zynga Direct目前仍未上线，它的另一个名称就是Project Z，这两者都是其上线之前的暂定名称。
7）据gamezebo报道，Zynga新游戏《Mafia Wars 2》日前在Facebook发布之后不到24小时又登陆了Google+平台。
他表示Zynga认为人们在三次点击的时间中，就可以决定到底要不要继续体验游戏，对休闲游戏来说，三次点击就可以决定一款游戏的生死。Zynga开发产品时会投入数月时间研究游戏的初次用户体验（游戏邦注：first time user experience，Zynga将其简称为FTUE），他们认为如果用户在头15分钟时喜欢上某款游戏，那么他们之后就有可能为之投入数个小时。
1）Zynga New Game Lineup Includes Hidden Objects, Mobile Zoo Game, More
By AJ Glasser
Zynga announced a series of new games today for Facebook, including a new ‘Ville game, the just-launched Mafia Wars sequel, a hidden object game and a series of mobile games available, some of which will be available on Facebook’s mobile platform as of tomorrow.
Hidden Chronicles – Zynga enters the hidden object genre with a dynamic hidden object game where the puzzles change with each replay.
Zynga Bingo – As part of the “Zynga Casino” franchise minted today, Zynga Bingo joins Zynga Poker (a.k.a. Texas HoldEm Poker) as a social casino experience where players can join a virtual room in which friends and strangers are playing bingo. Like other bingo games currently available on the Facebook platform, games are broken out into different themed virtual rooms with distinct visual elements. It sounds like players in the Zynga Casino network will be able to track which bingo rooms or poker tables their friends occupy in either game.
CastleVille – This is the first game from Zynga’s Dallas studio, formerly known as Bonfire Studios. It’s an expansion of the ‘Ville franchise that asks players to build a medieval-themed town around a castle. Story elements include special characters that players discover as they make various gameplay choices, creating a branching fiction where two players might have completely different casts of non-playable characters in their game. A player-versus-environment element encourages players to team up and defend their castles against attacks from “beasties” that live in the forest around the castle town. Additionally, any item in the game is up for trade with other players in a truly free market experience. In sum, it’s medieval CityVille with Empires & Allies combat and market elements.
Mafia Wars Shakedown – Not much was said here, but Fusible outed the game when Zynga began buying up domains for it. Looks like it’s coming to both iOS and Android at some point.
DreamZoo – Coming to iOS “soon,” this is a zoo game that combines real animals with whacky color schemes for an experience that might help differentiate it from the many zoo games
already available on the mobile games market.
Zynga also spent some time characterizing HTML5 game FarmVille Express — which goes live tomorrow on Facebook’s mobile platform. It’s a trimmed-down version of the FarmVille mobile experience that allows players to harvest crops on the go, and potentially complete some quests.（source:insidesocialgames）
2）Atari Brings Dungeons And Dragons To Facebook
by David Cohe
Digital gaming veteran Atari brought back 20-sided dice with the open-beta release of Facebook game Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter.
Heroes of Neverwinter doesn’t stray far from the formula — as Atari summed it up in a press release, “Players explore, kill monsters, and gather treasure.”
However, the game accounts for the short attention spans of the Facebook generation by providing what it calls “bite-sized play sessions,” as well as offering extensive player customization, and the ability to recruit others via the social network.
Atari’s description of the game says:
Legions of Halflings, Dragonborn, and Eladrin will sharpen their blades and ready their spells as Facebook players around the world create their unique heroes and set forth for adventure!
Explore over 50 dungeons, battle over 40 unique monsters, learn over 30 unique skills, and discover hundreds of powerful magic items. Gamers can even take on the role of Dungeon Master and create their own adventures for friends and other players to explore. Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter will be the deepest RPG experience ever to reach the Facebook platform.（source:allfacebook）
3）Why Twitter Users Aren’t Using Google Plus
By Marshall Kirkpatrick
Google Plus has been, by some accounts, the fastest growing social network in history. New numbers indicate, though, that traffic to the site is dropping fast after initial interest.
Personally, I find myself more drawn to it every day, because I get so many responses when I post things there. (Disclosure: that could be in part because Google recommended me as a user there, meaning I have twice as many social connections there already as I have on Twitter.)
Many people say they don’t find it compelling though. We asked on Twitter and on Facebook and most people said that the value proposition was too unclear, that it wasn’t valuable enough to warrant the investment of time relative to the already heavy burden of Twitter and Facebook engagement. Google knows it needs to make changes to the service to increase its user retention.
But you know who else has always struggled with new user retention? Twitter! Below, some Tweets articulating some of the reasons people aren’t finding themselves Plussing.
Like I said, I like Google Plus quite a bit. I am trying to use it and Twitter and maybe some Facebook, all at once. It’s exhausting, but luckily this is what I do for a living. If you like using Google Plus as well, we can be buddies here.（source:readwriteweb）
4）Facebook Per-Click Ad Prices Rose 54% During Quarter
by David Cohen
Marketers spent 25 percent more on Facebook advertising during the third quarter of 2011 compared with the second quarter, resulting in a 54 percent quarterly jump in the average cost per click.
That’s the highlight of a white paper, from Efficient Frontier and Context Optional, which concluded that the CPC increase is a result of greater competition in the Facebook advertising marketplace, both in terms of volume of advertisers and ad pricing.
Efficient Frontier and Context Optional see CPC continuing to increase through 2012, at a rate of 30 percent to 40 percent per quarter, predicting that advertisers will continue to increase their investment in the social network.
The report also found that fan engagement per post rose by an average of 31 percent quarter-over-quarter, while impressions per post rose 24 percent over the same period.
Engagement consisted mostly of likes, at 84 percent, while comments accounted for 15 percent, and shares for one percent.
Looking forward, Efficient Frontier and Context Optional see a steady uptick in engagement; the development of new Facebook analytics will allow advertisers to more effectively monetize and track return of investment on Facebook users.
Brands that are on the Context Optional platform have been seeing average monthly fan growth of nine percent, according to the study.（source:allfacebook）
5）Click-Throughs On Facebook Rise 18.5% This Summer
by David Cohen
Click-throughs on Facebook advertisements have risen 18.5 percent during the third quarter.
That’s specific to the U.S., Canada U.,K., France and Germany. These findings come from a study by TBG Digital, based on 255 billion ad impressions, or views.
The TBG study found that advertisers’ cost per click dropped 10.8 percent in those five cornerstone countries, while their cost per thousand impressions rose by 7.1 percent.
The agency added that brand advertising was up 6.7 percent for the quarter, reaching 53.7 percent of total advertising output on the social network.
The statistic on increased click-throughs contradicts what we’ve previously heard from some marketers about how ads on Facebook perform. TBG’s findings shows earning more and advertisers getting more return on investment.（source:allfacebook）
6）Zynga Announces Zynga Direct, a Social-Mobile Network Enabled With Facebook Connect
By AJ Glasser
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus announced a service called Zynga Direct today that seems to be the final form of the long-rumored ZLive platform.
ZLive was first reported more than a year ago and at the time was seen as a direct threat to Facebook’s games ecosystem, if indeed the platform allowed Facebook players to play Zynga games without Facebook. At that time, Zynga was also struggling with Facebook’s evolving platform requirements and Credits integration. Now, however, the market has changed and Credits are fully integrated in the Facebook platform across all games. In present conditions, Zynga Direct comes across more as a social club for Zynga gamers than a game-oriented Facebook alternative.
As Pincus explains: “We’re building a platform for play. For us it’s a platform. We’re not trying to be the company that’s trying to make the next hit game. We’re trying to have this experience make up a platform for play. Similar to what Facebook’s doing, but at a game level.”
Pincus put off the technical explanation for later on in the event. He did say that Zynga Direct is the deepest possible integration of Facebook Connect, and made a point of calling Facebook a launch partner of the platform, much as Zynga was Facebook’s launch partner for its mobile platform launched yesterday.
UPDATE: Zynga’s COO John Schappert announced what seems to be a separate product called Project Z, which is a web-based social network for Zynga players. It’s not live yet, but you can reserve a “Ztag” virtual identity here. It is also a Facebook Connect-enabled network.
UPDATE 2: Ah, it’s not a separate thing. Project Z is Zynga Direct. Both names are probably working titles only as the service isn’t live.（source:insidesocialgames）
7）Mafia Wars 2 comes to Google+
Yesterday’s launch of Mafia Wars 2 on Facebook was big news for Zynga, but even bigger seems to be the news that the game has now come to Google+ a mere 24 hours later. As a network that’s been slow to add new games to their roster, getting a brand new big name release at launch is something of a coup for the growing platform – and it definitely seems to say something about Zynga’s hopes for Google+.
In fact, of the 19 games available on Google+, three are from Zynga. That means they make up a whopping 15% of possible gaming opportunities for Google+ players. Still, as a platform that’s just growing (and one that experienced a 60% drop in traffic after the hype wore off), it should be interesting to see how much business Zynga manages to drum up.
The bigger question, though, is whether or not Zynga will start scheduling all of their new releases to hit both Facebook and Google+ at the same time. With CastleVille, Hidden Chronicles, and Zynga Bingo on the horizon and confirmed for Facebook, it shouldn’t be too long until we find out.（source:gamezebo）
8）For Zynga, success lies in the first three clicks
By Colleen Taylor
Everyone knows that socially, good first impressions are very important. So it makes sense that companies dealing in social media — such as social gaming giant Zynga — are finding that the first few moments a user interacts with their digital products are similarly crucial for their long-term success.
Zynga aspires to make all its games pass what the company calls the “three click” test: Making games that people can enjoy and get hooked on within the first three clicks of the mouse. According to Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, that is all the time a first-time user will give to a game before deciding whether it’s a keeper. He explained it like this at Tuesday’s Zynga Unleashed event:
“We believe in those first three clicks, you decide whether or not you want to check out more of it. In the uber-casual place that we all exist in now, it’s a three click deal. We either sold you or we didn’t.”
The focus on the first three clicks is part of making sure the first time user experience — which Zynga internally calls the FTUE (pronounced “fit-oo-ee”) — is the best and smoothest it can possibly be. “We spend months and months on the FTUE. You’d be amazed at what goes into it,” Pincus said. “We’re sensitive to the fact that we can’t ask for more than 15 minutes of your time.” But, he added, Zynga has learned that if people enjoy those first 15 minutes, they will often willingly give it hours and hours of their time in the future.
Essentially, Zynga’s three click rule is the opposite of the modernist screenwriting strategy — outlined in the Jonathan Franzen novel The Corrections — of inserting a narrative “hump” in the beginning of a film, which is a relatively boring segment meant to highlight the excitement that comes later. That might work for a captive audience of moviegoers who have already paid for their tickets; but the fact is that in today’s increasingly attention-deficit-disordered online world, users want to see the good stuff upfront. It looks like if new social apps and games want to be successful, they should work on polishing their first impressions.（source:gigaom）