Facebook gets called out, redefines its top games of 2011 list

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Gardens of TimeWere you as surprised as we were when Facebook dubbed Playdom's Gardens of Time the "most popular Facebook game of 2011?" As it turns out, we certainly weren't the only ones, as TechCrunch plainly called the social network out on its methodology (which we, too, questioned). Facebook almost immediately added a disclaimer describing how it arrived at the list in detail.

"This list was compiled by looking at the top games on Facebook with more than 100,000 monthly active users and giving priority to those games with the highest user satisfaction scores," the addendum reads on the Facebook blog. "The result is a list of the games that received the most user recommendations in 2011."

But EDGE reports that Facebook has recently renamed its list entirely from the "Most Popular Games in 2011" to the "Top Recommended Games of 2011." While this reflects Facebook's methodology much more accurately, it's interesting to see the company backtrack after such a heated response. For one, it speaks volumes to how seriously end-of-year lists are taken.

However, it also speaks to Facebook's motivations for creating its end-of-year list this way. Rather than simply highlight the games with the most monthly or daily players, the company took this chance to highlight its own recommendation features as a tool for viral game growth and discovery. More importantly, this was a golden opportunity for Facebook to deter popular opinions of Zynga domination on the platform, and to promote diversity among developers. If only it were upfront about that from the start.

What did you think of Facebook's original list, and how about now that the company has backtracked a bit on it? What was your favorite Facebook game of 2011? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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