iSwifter’s New App Brings All Flash-Based Facebook Games to the iPad
Most games on Facebook are built using Adobe Flash, and therefore don’t work on the iPad.
While Facebook is slowly working out the kinks to bring more games to mobile, there’s a small company in Menlo Park, Calif., that has beat them to it.
ISwifter is announcing a new iPad app today called theWorx for Facebook, which gives users the full Facebook experience — social games and all.
That means users can check their crops, maintain their cities and feed their fish without having to boot up their computer.
A small company of 20 employees, iSwifter is almost entirely bootstrapped, having generated $10 million in revenue last year.
As my colleague Ina Fried wrote, the previous iPad app allowed users to access any Flash-based content on the Web by running a browsing session on its servers and streaming the results to the iPad. What iSwifter quickly realized was that “one of the major use cases is Facebook games,” said the company’s co-founder Rohan Relan.
TheWorx will work similarly to the old app, except that it is tailored specifically for Facebook. ISwifter will host the content on its servers and then stream the games to the user on the iPad, with little latency. By taking this approach, users will have access to all games on Facebook without developers having to lift a finger.
Additionally, all of the original ways to monetize the applications will be in place, including advertising and Facebook Credits. TheWorx will be free for a short trial period, and then users will pay for additional access. The app will come out later this month or in early June. At that time, Relan said, the company will figure out how much it will charge. The iSwifter app currently costs $5.
“Our plan is if we do everything that the Facebook app does, then we can charge for that functionality,” Relan said.
The biggest threat to iSwifter is if Facebook starts bringing more content to mobile. “That would be pretty devastating to us,” Relan admits. However, he said there’s not an easy way for all developers to bring their content to mobile. Currently, some of the largest game developers, like Zynga, have created content specifically for Facebook’s app, but it has been a slow process.
“Some of the big apps have made native versions, but it will take time for the Long Tail to migrate over,” he said.
Here’s how the app works: