Posted March 2, 2012 4:29 pm by with 2 comments

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It’s a proud and a sad day for Facebook, as their little boy Zynga sets out on an adventure all his own. Armed with a degree in gamification, Zynga is taking on the world from his new digs, But don’t think that means he’s leaving home for good. Oh no. Like most young adults, he’s keeping his old room back home just in case.

Here’s Mark Pincus to tell you more about their new “Platform for Play.” is designed to make it easier for you to play with friends. We’re excited to offer new features like the live Social Stream which will enable you to play in real time with your friends and find new ones. Player profiles will let you check your friends’ helpfulness score to see who’s most likely to help you back. And you’ll be able to chat and play live with your friends and a community of players interested in the same games as you.

At Zynga, our first value is to build games our friends and family love to play. And when we launch a new product or game, for us it’s like Christmas day with the chance to surprise and delight millions of you.

I like his enthusiasm.

This move is interesting because it’s a whole new dynamic for both Zynga and Facebook. The two will still be connected. You’ll still need your Facebook logins and coins to play on, but it will be like bringing your toys over to a neighbor’s house instead of playing at home.

Manuel Bronstein, general manager of said in a press release:

“ was created based on listening to players and understanding what they want and need to make their play time more fun and meaningful.”

Simple, but oh so smart. People love to play Zynga games, but as the games got more complex, Facebook’s restrictive environment started to get in the way. With this new platform, Zynga can expand in ten different directions. They can run a dedicated gaming fan community without the distractions of Aunt Minnie’s family reunion photos and pings from that annoying person you avoid at work.

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What’s funny, is that Facebook was built on the concept of having it all and doing it all in one place. Now it seems we’re reverting back to the concept of keeping our life parts in separate buckets.

Will Zynga’s new community hurt Facebook? Unlikely. There will always be a group of casual players who like the convenience of clicking through from their profile page. But for those dedicated gamers who drop hundreds of dollars for in-game upgrades and virtual goods, could become their first social stop of the day.

  • I guess it’s inevitable that as a public company zynga have to be seen to be doing this rather than relying on Facebook. However, this just doesn’t feel like this is going to turn out well for both parties. No doubt Zynga investors are now going to encourage them to push more and more traffic to their own platform and away from Facebook. Then in turn Facebook will start seeing Zynga as a competitor rather than a partner. That can’t turn out well.

  • I think the point above is fair. If Facebook is the platform it is pitched to be, having its biggest customer say (in effect) “Not good enough” isn’t the sort of thing either their executives or potential investors should enjoy hearing. But it’s difficult to imagine Zynga not trying to make itself somewhat independent of Facebook – “Play our games (with the same friends, maybe more) on any platform you choose.”