It’s Game On for Social Networkers

It’s Game On for Social Networkers

September 8, 2010

London, UK (September 2nd) — The latest findings from leading online market research provider Lightspeed Research ( highlight the growing importance of social games for social network users. More than half (58%) of the social network users surveyed had played a social game, with two thirds (68%) starting to play in the last year including 12% in the last month. Of social gamers, 17% considered themselves ‘addicted’ to social games.

59% of social networkers have up to 10 friends playing the same social games as them. As well as inviting friends to join them, 11% have also invited strangers. Being invited by a friend was in fact cited by 36% of the total respondents as the reason for starting to play social games. Other common introductions include reading a friend’s newsfeed (16%) and a recommendation (18%).

29% play social games daily

Most respondents (67%) play one to two different social games at least once per week, but 10% play five or more. While almost a third (29%) play their social game(s) daily, 24% play theirs several times per day. The majority (67%) play for up to an hour per day, but 24% play up to two hours and 10% play for two hours or more. Interestingly, those aged 55-64 play more frequently than 18-34 year olds.

Social Gaming Chart 1

Social games for fun, competition and stress relief

The reasons respondents gave for playing include for fun (68%), to compete with friends (26%) or to relieve stress (20%). Men are more likely to play to compete with friends (28% vs. 23% of women), while women are more likely to play for fun (71% vs. 66% of men). Perhaps surprisingly, men are also more likely to say they play to connect with others (17% vs. 9% of women).

Gaming isn’t just restricted to computers with 17% of social games players having played on their mobile. This proportion increases to 23% for 18-34 year olds.

Monetising social games

Many social gamers are motivated to interact with brands to get rewards for their games with 34% having responded to some kind of marketing activity to get game rewards – 18% have clicked on an advert to get rewards; 14% have signed up to a newsletter or a new game, 10% to a free offer and 3% to a new credit card for game rewards. Those aged 18-34 are most likely to have done one of these things at 41%, followed by 36% of 35-54 year olds and 18% of 55-64s. Men are more likely than women to do all these things (40% have done at least one compared to 29% of women).

Social Gaming Chart 2

Social gamers (14%) have also paid cash to get game rewards/benefits. This is something men are more likely to do (18% vs 9% of women). Of these, 58% used PayPal, 27% Facebook credits and 19% a credit card.

23% of respondents also said they are more likely to buy products belonging to a brand/company that has sponsored or advertised in social games. With more men saying this than women, this could be an effective strategy for brands targeting men.

Ralph Risk, Marketing Director of Lightspeed Research Europe, says: “Social games are becoming a key aspect in people’s lives, with almost one in five people feeling they are addicted. At the same time they are opening up the gaming market to new groups of people, making it a great opportunity for brands to communicate with players through providing an engaging experience and useful and relevant rewards.”


For press enquiries please contact:

Nina Croad, PR Consultant – Greenfields Communications Tel: +44 (0)7889 491259

Ralph Risk, Marketing Director Europe – Lightspeed Research             Tel +44 (0)20 7896 1950 / +44 (0)7876 507689

About Lightspeed Research

Lightspeed Research delivers valuable data to help clients make informed business decisions. With proprietary online panels throughout the world, our verified, engaged, and deeply profiled survey respondents can support research studies that vary in scope and complexity. Lightspeed Research’s expert Client Operations Team offers data collection services including survey design, sample management, programming and reporting.

The company has offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Lightspeed Research is part of Kantar, the information insight and consultancy division of WPP. For more information, please visit

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