Just like Operation Developer Love, every week Facebook selects a developer to spotlight their creative uses of the Facebook platform. It may primarily serve as promotion for Facebook and the developer, but it also offers some great tips for developers who want to figure out the best practices when it comes to Facebook development.
Most of these developer spotlights, however, are about non-gaming apps. That’s all fine and good since Facebook has way more uses than just games. I just think that games provide a unique look into the ways the Facebook platform is used that other apps don’t usually get into.
Now, for a bit of history behind Diamond Dash, it’s your usual gem rush game that has players trying to connect like-colored gems until time runs out. It doesn’t do anything significantly new with the genre, but it does wrap it all up in a colorful presentation that’s immediately pleasing to the eyes.
While the browser-based version of Diamond Dash has done well enough, it’s the mobile version that Facebook is focusing on today. Facebook integration with mobile apps is key to the app’s success if you remember any of the past developer spotlights. One of the most important features for a mobile app that is also on Facebook is the use of a single sign in. This allows players to keep playing on their own profile across both platforms.
The game is host a weekly tournament. This gives players and their friends a chance to compare scores against each other. This is all done automatically by comparing the scores of a player with their friends. To that end, when a player passes a friend’s score, it gives said player the option to brag about it on their Facebook Timeline. Not only does it make the player feel good, but it entices the beaten player to come back and play again.
All of the social leaderboards and bragging rights are powered by, what else, Open Graph. The integration allows Diamond Dash Mobile to post achievements and other “compelling news feed stories” to the walls of players.
Finally, like any good social game, the social aspect is at the core of the experience. This means that players have to rely on their friends to get further in the game. In the case of Diamond Dash Mobile, players have a limited number of plays per day. Once they reach the limit, they can either buy lives or ask their friends for help.
What did all of this do for Diamond Dash Mobile? Well, users were directed to the Diamond Dash app from Facebook more than 18.5 million times in March. The percentage of players choosing to use Single Sign On has increased to 64 percent in March from 28 percent in December of 2011. Interestingly enough, users who use Single Sign On are “eight times more likely to spend money, and spend 50 percent more on average.” I don’t know what the correlation there is, but it sounds like Single Sign On is the next important thing for every developer to implement.