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Facebook: We're offering 100 million niche audiences

Developers are better monetising, marketing and engaging with social audiences, says Facebook games boss

The growth in gaming on Facebook now means that the social network is offering up niche audiences of up to 100 million users, according to games boss Gareth Davis.

Speaking in an exclusive interview published today on GamesIndustry.biz, Davies said he over the past 18 months games developers have begun to serve the hardcore gaming market in an environment that was recently just considered a casual audience.

"We have so many users now on Facebook that we can have really big niches. 100 million user niches. We see the emergence now of companies on Facebook who are building what they'd call a core game. Games targeted at people who played PC games back in the day, strategy games," he said.

"They're at the quality level now of those PC games. We think that area has really emerged in the last 18 months."

Developers and publishers understand that Facebook offers multiple niches, said Davis, and there are big enough audiences to make specific game genres profitable on the platform.

"I think we've really seen the game developers understand that it's not one-size-fits-all, it's about different kinds of game for different audiences.

"So we're seeing this broadening now of the kinds of games and audiences and you can be very successful, creating different types of games and you can make a lot of money doing it. We're seeing a real maturing of the eco-system as people figure out the right opportunities and go after them."

Companies such as Kabam and A Bit Lucky are currently chasing the hardcore crowd on Facebook, looking to attract an audience that already exists but isn't being served the right gaming experiences.

As Facebook has continued to tweak the platform in terms of social virality, developers have become better at successfully working the platform into their game experiences, said Davis.

"I think as we've been tuning this the games industry on Facebook has been very successful. It's continued to be able to gain mass markets of users, tens of millions of users. They've worked out how to engage their users - the engagements levels have been way up over the last couple of years. And monetisation. They've really figured out how to provide the right things to the right people so that they're willing to pay for it."

However, Davis reiterated Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's assertion that the company itself would never get into the business of making games, preferring to refine the service and platform.

"We're not going to build games because games are really hard to build and our expertise is in building the platform. So we are 100 per cent focused on building the best possible platform to enable developers to build social experiences everywhere, particularly mobile, today."

The full interview with Davis, where is also discusses the recent changes to MAU and DAU figures, can be read here. He will be speaking at Evolve in London on December 1, details of which can be found on the official website.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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