A social network game is a type of online game that is played through social networks, and typically features multiplayer and asynchronous gameplay mechanics. Social network games are most often implemented as browser games, but can also be implemented on other platforms such as mobile devices. The first cross-platform "Facebook-to-Mobile" social network game was developed in 2011. Social network games are amongst the most popular games played in the world, with several products with tens of millions of players.
A social network game is often played via a web browser, though they are distinct from browser based games in the way they leverage the player's social graph and individual user data that is hosted on the social network. With the invention of smartphone devices, social games have now also seen widespread adoption on mobile platforms such as iOS and Android devices. This is enabled through mobile social networks such as OpenFeint and through Oauth implementations by social networking sites like Facebook which allow applications on mobile devices to access a limited amount of protected user data on those sites. Through an in-app connection to these networks, users can be provided with an experience very similar to that of a web based social game. It's been predicted that social gaming will bring over 6 billion dollars in revenue, by 2013.
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