Game Monetization on FB: What You Need to Know

Facebook games are still popular, and the social media giant continues to offer new ways for people to play. The most recent addition is the ability to play Instant Games within Facebook Messenger. As a game developer, you will go through different cycles of focus – Acquisition, Engagement & Monetization.

In this post, I want to cover about Monetization, how are the newest Facebook games monetizing?

The Official Options

Aspiring Facebook game developers can take a look at FB’s official list of monetization methods found here. You’ll find a host of options, ranging from in-app purchases to subscription models to gifting, player promotions, ads for virtual goods, advertising, and offerwalls. If you peruse the page, you’ll find that Facebook notes in-app purchases as being “the easiest and most straightforward way to start monetizing your game”. However, does that mean this is the best option? Is this what those new games hitting Facebook are doing? Not really.

More Popular Monetization Options

To be clear, in-app purchasing is a very popular way to monetize a game. It’s the secret behind the success of games like Candy Crush and others. However, there are better options that can yield higher, more consistent revenue. Remember that only about 2% of your player base will ever make an in-app purchase. So, to be really profitable, you need a massive number of players. Sadly, most games will never achieve that. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be profitable. There are better choices out there.

Rewarded Video Ads

One of the fastest-growing methods of monetizing mobile and web-based games is through rewarded video ads. This takes the ad-based revenue support system and turns it on its ear by letting your users choose to watch longer ads. Why would anyone want to watch a longer ad, though?

You offer something of value to them in exchange for watching the ad. The more valuable the reward, the longer the ad, or the more ads they must watch in sequence to earn it. What could you offer, though? Really, it could be anything.

The most important consideration is that the reward be of value to your player, and that its value is tied directly to the length of the video they’re required to watch. For example, a player might appreciate an extra life, but if they have to watch two 3-minute videos to get that life, they might choose to do otherwise, particularly if they can get an extra life some other way within the game.

In addition to in-app purchases and rewarded video ads, developers are also using interstitial video ads within their Facebook games (this is a newer feature for Instant Games). Interstitial ads are played after a user completes something. For instance, if you have ever played the ad-supported version of Words with Friends by Zynga, then you’re familiar with the ads that play after you make your move. Those are interstitial ads.

Ultimately, you can choose to monetize your new Facebook game in a number of ways. It may also be wise to consider using more than one method to ensure that you are able to build profitability and success.