afaqs!

Now advertise on Facebook applications, powered by RockYou

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 15, 2010
The US based social media content development firm, RockYou, plans to monetise Indian and West Asian traffic on its applications and games

One of the largest Facebook application development firms, RockYou, has appointed the Pune based agency, iThink Labs, as its partner to monetise the traffic its applications receive from India and few West Asian countries.

iThink Labs represents and sells online media space for various national and international publications in India and the US.

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For the uninitiated, RockYou is a US based company which creates and distributes applications and games on social networking sites such as Facebook.com and Orkut.com. It has formed a network of more than 3,000 applications, which are either developed by the company or pooled into the network by individual application developers.

As per the latest comScore figures (shared by iThink Labs), globally, about 188 million unique users access RockYou applications - available across various social networking sites - per month.

"80 per cent of the overall traffic on RockYou applications comes through Facebook.com," claims Vishal Sharma, founder and chief executive officer, Yureekah Software, the sister concern of iThink Labs.

Popular RockYou applications/games on Facebook.com include Birthday Cards and Zoo World. Birthday Cards allows Facebook users to send cards and gifts to their friends online. It has more than 4.5 crore active users per month. Zoo World is a game in which users are required to collect animals and grow their own zoo. It receives about 1.9 crore active users monthly worldwide.

Another large Facebook applications developer firm, Zynga, claims that it receives more than 100 million unique users on its applications per month. Two of its popular applications or games are FarmVille, a real time farm simulation game and MafiaWars, a multi player game in which users have to build their own criminal empire - on Facebook.com. FarmVille receives about 7.5 crore and MafiaWars gets 2.5 crore active users per month.

The revenue model of RockYou is based on advertising. The social media company serves ads on its applications. For the same, it operates an ad network, RockYou Ads, which ropes in advertisers and get ads from them. The company claims that it serves about 15 billion ad impressions on its applications hosted on Facebook.com alone.

Sharma explains, "We will represent RockYou Ads and will be the exclusive seller of ad space on applications in the RockYou network in India and few West Asian markets - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Bahrain."

"Until now, RockYou was able to monetise only 20 per cent of its traffic on applications accessed by users in India and West Asian countries and most of the ads served on the applications were by global advertisers."

The company plans to offer ads, including banner ads, video ads and branded skins, on cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC) and cost per view (CPV) basis.

Sharma says, "To begin with, we have an inventory or capability to serve about 250 million ad impressions per month on RockYou applications on Facebook."

RockYou is funded by Sequoia Capital, Partech International, Lightspeed Venture Partners, DCM, SK Telecom Ventures and Softbank.