Online bingo companies are always on the lookout for new trends that they can take advantage of or even piggyback onto. Nothing qualifies as a mega-trend more than the phenomenon of social networking that is epitomized by Facebook and its imitators. Facebook faces reflect the vast range of interests of the people who participate in it. Bingo companies have been quick to identify this trend and to move to take advantage of it.
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How a Social Game Takes the Cake
Bingo is a social game and always has been. Bingo, which originated in Renaissance Italy, was always played in rooms full of convivial people. However, the game was refined into its current form by a 20th century American businessman whose refinements made it a natural game for churches, but also fraternal clubs and even taverns and bars. Whether they win or not, friends like to get together for an evening or afternoon of bingo. For many such players, the fun of participating in the game far outweighs whether you win or lose—although winning is always fun! So it is natural for bingo companies to try to insinuate themselves into the biggest influence on society of the 21st century: the internet and the world wide web. Many of the earlier internet bingo companies began as gaming portals, providing a place where individuals could play the game—usually alone. That turned out to be a mistake and they were not as successful as they would have liked. The social element was missing—and it was missed!
Hi-Tech Bingo Rules the Roost
It didn’t take long for the bingo companies to catch on to the fact that social interaction is an integral part of bingo. They reacted by creating bingo chat rooms where players could link up with their pals, and, perhaps more importantly, make new ones. They came up with technological developments that made it possible to be as social, perhaps even more so, than at a brick and mortar bingo parlor. They did this with developments such as automatic daubing, which marks players’ numbers without having to be manually monitored. This enabled players to make posts and read and respond to other players’ posts. Almost overnight bingo sites became the newest example of social networking.
Despite this almost instant success, bingo companies soon reached another plateau that they couldn’t seem to rise above. That plateau and that challenge was how to incorporate advertising into the online bingo experience. The need was for bingo companies to be able to expose the public to their newest games and technology, and to attract new people to the game. Without that last factor the games could not grow.
Facebook Offers Promise
Facebook proved to be the entering wedge that bingo companies were able to use to reach their goals. The reason is that Facebook does not allow gambling with its games. But that is actually good news for bingo sites that saw the opportunity to expand in the direction of social networking. If they couldn’t join Facebook, they could imitate it. They also discovered that players could join bingo sites while on their Facebook accounts and play bingo for free.
You might ask why free bingo would be good for bingo companies? The answer is that Facebook opens up a completely new and untouched market to the companies. Players can “get hooked” on bingo without paying anything, and eventually they will want to try the real thing and play for money. When they do make that move, all they have to do is click onto the parent site and Bingo!
Whether or not Facebook members start playing for money, the bingo companies get a lot of good PR. It’s better than relying on a Google search, in which some of the biggest sites can sink to the bottom of the results. And, perhaps best of all, bingo companies can get good publicity and notice on Facebook without investing big bucks.
Commercialization of the Gaming Sector
This has prompted some companies to launch aps specific to Facebook, but which will quickly lead players back to the parent site. More and more bingo players may be participating in the game from the comfort and privacy of their own computers and homes, but the social aspect of the game continues to be one of its most magnetic draws. It has actually lead to the growth of the game since many of the people that it has attracted to the game might not ever have ventured into a physical bingo hall to check out the game. It’s a win win for the players and for the bingo companies.
Greetings, my name’s Iron Mike. Enjoy the bingo article. If you’ve got any gaming questions, get in touch 🙂