Facebook tightens control of social Web with Bing, EA Deals

The social networking giant has control of all the major social game companies -- and that's a lot of money rolling in

Facebook and EA Games inked a five-year "strategic relationship" that makes Facebook Credits the sole payment method for microtransactions in EA's Facebook games, which include two in the top 10: Pet Society and Restaurant City. EA's licensed products, Scrabble and the upcoming Monopoly, also strive to tap into the real-life pockets of Facebook's 200 million-strong game-playing population.

And boy are those people spending money on Facebook. Zynga -- creator of the bane of my existence, FarmVille -- is expected to rope in $500 million this year, of which Facebook will take 30 per cent, or $150 million. Deals with Zynga, Crowdstar, Disney's Playdom, and now EA means Facebook has control of all the major social game companies -- and that's a lot of bank, given Facebook's 30 per cent slice of the profits.

Overall, Facebook Credits should nab the site $835 million in 2010, and sales of Facebook Credits at Target stores will be an inspiration for many to stuff shopping carts (to buy things like, um, hats for sheep, or something).

Let's not forget the deal between Facebook and Bing, Google's main search competitor. In June, Microsoft announced that social search -- wherein Twitter and Facebook updates appear in search results -- was coming, and has now completed its deployment.

This announcement is perfectly timed. Google just had to settle its bounty of Buzz lawsuits: a bullhorn broadcast of Google's ongoing problems with online privacy. This, contrasted against Bing's promises to offer a safer, cleaner integration with Facebook, is an embarrassing coincidence.

Now that we've determined that Facebook basically has the social Web on a leash, what's Google doing with Google Me? Twiddling its thumbs, apparently. To its credit, Google has made a few major scores in the online games market by purchasing virtual currency platform Jambool, mobile game firm SocialDeck, and Slide, a media company that develops games, widgets, and applications designed for social networks.

But check out these companies' wares: SocialDeck's games include "Shake & Spell," "Pet Hero MD," and "Color Connect." Slide made the widgets SuperPoke, FunSpace and Top Friends. Compared to Monopoly -- the best-selling board game of all time -- those offerings look, well, crappy.

Google had better lace up its boxing gloves and start punching hard (harder than a SuperPoke, in the very least) if it wants Google Me to become something other than another sad-eyed Buzz.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetGoogleFacebooksocial networksInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?