Promoted badges on Twenity – how they work and how they perform [updated]
On Twenity, players are awarded badges as part of the main adventure they are playing. These 20 badges for achievements, that get upgraded through different levels, come in various forms and materials, from paper, plastic, to metal. But these aren't the only badges in the game, users can also unlock shiny promoted badges, which they get for following various Twitter accounts. These badges are the first and most obvious way of potentially monetizing Twenity, and at this point, it looks like they could actually work.
How to get them
There are 4 promoted badges currently available on Twenity. If you want them, you can follow these accounts on Twitter:
You need two calculations to unlock these badges. The first time, Twenity adds the followed profile to your leaderboard. The second time, you will get the badge.
How they perform
At this point, we have over 900 players on Twenity. Quite a few of them have unlocked promoted badges, but we wanted to know, how many of those were given to players for following a specific account after they've started playing the game.
The following assumption may not be perfectly correct, since there can be other reasons people started following these 4 accounts after they've started using Twenity, but here it goes: if a player made more than 2 calculations (first to record the friendship, second to unlock the badge) between the time they've registered to Twenity and unlocked one of the badges, it's pretty much safe to say they started following these accounts because of Twenity. Here are the full statistics of promoted badges, recorded on February 13th 2012 (download the full list):
*Geek hive was introduced on December 28th 15:00 CET, so the numbers included in the list are for those that have made more than two calculations between that date and the date of unlocking the badge
**There are people who follow Twenity for other reasons, such as the service itself
What this means for marketers
While these numbers may not seem like much, they are still pretty interesting for the current scale of Twenity. While the least popular promoted badge is currently owned by 49 players (more than 5%), the average amount of new followers gained because of it is almost 20, which is more than 2%! While these number may not be representative for larger amounts of players, they are very impressive for less than 2 months of Twenity's existence.
Marketeres can always decide to buy followers elsewhere, but it's a practice that probably doesn't have real effect, since most of those users are not engaged, perhaps even bots. But on Twenity, most players are real people, engaged people. And we haven't even come to the branding effects of owning a custom badge on Twenity.
Interested? Contact us on email@example.com.
Update: Mar 26 2012
There were a few more changes in the last month and a half, so we are attaching the new numbers. The performance is closing in on 3%.
Impressions from our launch
Twenity was launched on December 21st 2011, as part the last Web Hours (Spletne urice or #wwwh) of the season in Kiberpipa. We have decided on this because #wwwh and Kiberpipa are one of the strongest gathering points of Slovenian web culture, and some of us are quite regular attendees and lecturers. This turned out to be a great idea, since we've managed to get fantastic feedback and had a great time at the new year's party that followed the presentation and launch.
Twenity was introduced to the audience by Robert Ilovar from IlovarStritar and Grega Stritar from Neolab (who has nothing to do with Stritar from IlovarStritar). Most concepts behind Twenity were revealed and the presentation was well accepted. Grega (on the right) started off by presenting the calculation and the adventure components, Robert (on the left) followed by presenting the design elements and the marketing strategies.
We knew we needed all the help we can get to get the initial players on Twenity. The geeks of #wwwh were more than helpful, as always, supporting the local initiative. Thank your for that! We came prepared too, everybody that tweeted their results or used the hashtag #twenity on that day, received a real-life metal Twenity badge. Twenity ambassador, level 5.
The results were amazing. We've managed to attract more than 200 players on the same day! We went viral! As you can see on the following screenshot from sitweet.com, which analyzes the Slovenian twittersphere, Twenity was all over the place, becoming a local trending topic.
After the initial push, things cooled off a bit, at least in the number of new players registering to Twenity. This was to be expected. Our optimistic goal was to have 500 players before the new year's, and we've reached that number on December 31st. Currently, there are more than 900 players competing, and we are very happy with these numbers, also because Twenity is slowly penetrating other countries as well (recorded by the unofficial blog). Time to shift into higher gear.
We are very grateful for all of this, because we know you've made this possible. Yes, you.
Is Twenity an Adventure or a Role Playing Game (RPG)?
One of the most important things we were trying to achieve with the concept of Twenity, was to make a real-life Role Playing Game based on your online activity. Something that would be able to portray a person on Twitter as a charachter of some sort, together with its race, class, and the world this character lives in. This character would gradually evolve, becoming stronger and gaining artifacts on its path.
This is still our vision. But we were cautions about going all-in with the RPG part. Role Playing Game is a strong word, which also suggest different fantasy scenes, dragons, princesses and advanced character definition. Since quite a few of our players are probably gamers, this expectation could leave them dissapointed and would overpromise in a way. That's why we have decided to use »adventure« instead of »RPG« and work hard on polishing the service in such a way that perhaps someday it will be worth calling a real-life RPG.
But that doesn't mean we haven't managed to successfully implement a few Role Playing Game elements. On Twenity, you start off as a rookie (level 1), but as you play, you unlock other levels, and 3 people are already in the highest, 5th level. You receive prizes which are both your artifacts and your attributes; badges, which you are awarded for various reasons. You can determine the world you play in, which is currently defined by your Twitter timezone. You can choose your race in the form of a user type (currently Person, Brand, Public Figure, Media). And you can put yourself in two different industries, which are analog to RPG classes.
Our goal is to go even further in this direction, hopefully one day we will be able to make an even more detailed and advanced alternative profile of your online presence.