The heat has been on Facebook recently to up its game. With user figures not rising as dramatically as they used to, and second quarter earnings reports failing to install confidence in the platform, the firm has been under increasing pressure to change its tactics.
One area in particular that has been causing Facebook problems, is advertising. Traditionally a large source of its revenue, Facebook leaders have struggled to adapt their system to fit in with the rising trend in mobile use. In an attempt to sidestep this, it seems as though Facebook is taking its first step towards the gambling world, with new social app, Bingo Friendzy.
What is it?
Bingo Friendzy is a collaboration between Facebook and London-based company, Gamesy. Gamesy is one of the nation’s leading online gambling firms, with successes like Sun Bingo to its name, and this new app allows users to play 90 ball bingo using real money. Inevitably perhaps, the new move has caused great controversy, with Christian groups claiming Facebook is praying on the young and vulnerable, and promoting gambling in an irresponsible way.
Mark Zuckerburg’s creation has, however, hit back at these claims, stating that due to strict controls, Bingo Friendzy will not be visible to underage users, although it does seem strange then that this app appears so child-orientated. With bright colours and and images of furry animals, it would definitely seem as though Facebook has geared this app towards its younger users.
What does this mean for brands?
Facebook has become an increasingly popular tool for online marketers from all business sectors. Many have begun to realise the potential this site has in promoting their company and interacting with their audience on the web, whether that be through their company page or through the site’s advertising system.
Whichever approach companys use for their campaigns, Facebook’s move towards gambling is likely to cause concerns, as the growth of gambling apps could have an adverse effect on the site’s popularity. Some users may be deterred by this and leave the network altogether, decreasing the amount of people that posts, pictures, links and videos will reach.
However, at the moment, this is all mere speculation. The rate at which this area expands will likely depend on the reaction Bingo Freindzy receives, so for now it would be advisable for business leaders to continue using the platform as usual, and if and when Facebook’s popularity does begin to decline, start to search for other platforms for their social media marketing.
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