Facebook users: 55% play social games, 19% say they're addicted

farmville rather be farmingLightspeed Research has released a new survey on Facebook users, and -- to no surprise -- 53% of the respondents say they play social games, and -- a little more surprising -- 19% admit that they're 'addicted' to social games. If you were wondering whether you should start up a FarmVille 12-step program, this might be the ammo you need (along with this awful story about a serious social game addiction).

Other noteworthy stats from the Facebook user survey include:

- 55% play social games daily

- More than half of the Facebook users (53%) had played a social game

- Women are more likely to play and get 'addicted' to social games.

- More than half of Facebook users have up to 10 friends playing the same social games together

- Most people say they play 'for fun' (79%)

- 12% of all social games are played on mobile

- 20% of Facebook gamers have paid cash to get rewards/benefit

- Men are more likely to pay cash for rewards/benefits than women

See more detailed information on the survey after the jump:It's game on for Facebook Users
More than half of Facebook users play games and 19% are 'addicted'

New York, 13 September 2010: The latest findings from leading online market research provider Lightspeed Research (www.lightspeedresearch.com) highlight the growing importance of social games for Facebook users. More than half (53%) of the Facebook users surveyed had played a social game, with two thirds (65%) starting to play in the last year including 13% in the last month. 19% of social gamers considered themselves 'addicted.'

Not only do more women have a Facebook account than men (75% compared to 63%) but they are more likely to play social games and to consider themselves 'addicted' to them than men (21% vs 17%). 22% of 18-34 year olds can't break the social gaming habit, but the figure is only slightly less for 35-54 year olds (18%) and 55+ (15%).

More than half of Facebook users (55%) have up to 10 friends playing the same social games as them. Truly "social", 59% of social gamers have invited their friends to join them, and 15% have also invited strangers. Being invited by a friend was cited by 37% of the game players as the reason they started social gaming. Other common introductions include finding the game themselves (27%) and a recommendation (17%). Only 6% started playing as a result of seeing the game advertised.

55% play social games daily
Most respondents (63%) play one to two different social games at least once per week, but 14% play five or more. While just over one third (27%) play their social game(s) daily, 28% play theirs several times per day. The majority (65%) play for up to 30 minutes in an average social game session, but 27% play for 30-60 minutes at a time. 8% play for more than one hour in an average session. Interestingly, those aged 55+ are more likely to spend more than 30 minutes playing per session than 18-34 year olds (43% vs 26%).

Social games for fun, competition and stress relief
The reasons respondents gave for playing include for fun (79%), to pass the time (44%) or to relieve stress (36%). Women are more likely to play for fun (82% % vs. 77% of men), or for stress relief (40% vs. 32% of men).

Gaming isn't just restricted to computers, with 12% of social games players having played on their mobile. This proportion increases to 19% for 18-34 year olds.

Monetising social games
Many social gamers are motivated to interact with brands to get rewards for their games, with 39% having responded to some kind of marketing activity to get game rewards – 20% have signed up to a new game to get rewards; 19% have clicked on an advert to get rewards; 16% have signed up to a newsletter; 13% to a free offer and 3% to a new credit card for game rewards. Those aged 18-34 are most likely to have done one of these things at 43%, followed by 39% of 35-54 year olds and 29% of those aged 55+. Men are more likely than women to do all these things (42% have done at least one compared to 35% of women).

Facebook social gamers (20%) have also paid cash to get game rewards/benefits. This is something men are more likely to do (23% vs 17% of women). Of these, 48% used PayPal, 34% a credit card and 31% used Facebook credits.

26% of respondents also said they are more likely to buy products belonging to a brand/company that has sponsored or advertised in social games. With more men saying this than women, this could be an effective strategy for brands targeting men.

Naor Chazan, Marketing Director of Lightspeed Research Americas, says: "With half of Facebook users aged 18 and over participating in social games, the popularity and potential influence of online games is huge. Having witnessed successful in-game branding sponsorships from 7-Eleven, Microsoft and Honda, social games offer a new and exciting way to engage with existing and potential customers."
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