Lady Gaga Gives FarmVille a Boost, But Can it Last?

FarmVille launched two years ago, peaking at an amazing 32.5 million daily users.

At that rate, Zynga’s Mark Skaggs has said before that if you lined up all the users across the U.S., they’d cross 6.36 times from New York to San Francisco.

Nowadays, the game is showing its age and the number of people coming back on a daily basis is nearly a third of that.

So, can a promotion with pop artist and marketing machine Lady Gaga provide a lift?

Yep, it sure can.

Unfortunately, the lift is probably only temporary, according to the latest usage trends from AppData.com, which tracks usage levels of Facebook applications.

Here’s how users went Gaga for GagaVille:

The promotion kicked off on May 17, six days before Lady Gaga’s new album “Born this Way” was released. Farmers were invited to visit Lady Gaga’s compound that included lots of purple, crystals, unicorns and even sheep riding motorcycles.

However, response to the themed farm hardly registered with visitors clocking in at roughly 11 million a day, which was lower than the week prior when users registered more than 11.5 million.

That changed quickly. On May 19, visits spiked to 13.5 million after players were able to unlock and stream three unreleased tracks. The first day, “Marry the Night” was available, followed by “Electric Chapel” on May 18 and “Fashion of His Love” on May 19.

It was either “Fashion of His Love” that created the spike or the combination of all three. Regardless, since that day, visits to the Farm have fallen off a cliff.

Now that the album is out–and you could buy it for only 99 cents on Amazon–interest in FarmVille seems to be withering once again.

One way to measure interest is to find the percentage of monthly users who visit on a daily basis.

That number on FarmVille has fallen to even below pre-Gaga levels (see chart below). Currently, about 25 percent are returning on a daily basis. Before the promotion, rates were closer to 26 percent, and at the promotion’s peak, 30 percent of monthly users returned daily.

Since social gaming is still in its infancy, the lifecycle of a popular game is still unclear. Regardless of Lada Gaga’s influence on FarmVille, it still doesn’t have too much to worry about.

FarmVille remains the second most popular app on Facebook, trailing only behind Zynga’s newest game CityVille.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work