Gigya launches gamification suite to make web sites more fun (exclusive)

Gigya has made its mark by making web sites more social. Now it’s going to gamify them too. The company is announcing today that it will offer a Game Mechanics software as a service so that companies can make their sites more social and game-like as they seek to engage users who are otherwise bored with static web sites.

The company will compete with a lot of other gamification startups, from Bunchball to Big Door and Badgeville. But Victor White, senior marketing manager, said his company offers more like a one-stop shop where customers can add gamification as part of a wider selection of social features. The trend toward gamification — or making non-game web sites more engaging by making them game-like — has become a big bandwagon this year, as gamification is driving the next wave of web loyalty and rewards programs.

At this year’s Gamification Summit in January, Wanda Meloni, analyst at M2 Research, estimated that the production of gamification projects will generate $1.6 billion in revenues by 2015. That means it will grow from just 3 percent of social media marketing budgets in 2010 to more than 23 percent by 2015. The average growth rate for the next two years is 150 percent, in terms of revenues. Gartner also predicts that gamification will be a huge wave as big brands embrace it.

With Game Mechanics, Gigya customers can motivate users to get more engaged with a site through leaderboards and user achievements. Partners joining the launch include Fathead.com, CarDomain, VideoBash, GoodSearch, Shoebacca and Daily Racing Form. That’s a decent set of initial partners.

Gigya notes that gamification can get users stoked with virtual and psychological rewards in lieu of or in addition to financial rewards. Rivals such as Bunchball have years of experience, and it won’t be easy for Gigya to catch up. But Gigya says it makes gamification easier by letting clients incorporate it automatically across any of Gigya’s existing social plug-ins. Gigya’s main business is a software-as-a-service that makes web sites more social, allowing online businesses to integrate Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Gigya’s clients have more than 280 million users across 500,000 sites, with customers such as CBS, Fox Sports, Intuit, and The Coca-Cola Company.

“Gamification has been one of the most requested features from our clients, so we are very excited to bring to market a truly best in class social rewards product,” said Patrick Salyer (pictured), chief executive of Mountain View, Calif.-based Gigya.

Gigya was founded in 2006 and has 75 employees. The company has raised three rounds of funding; its investors include Benchmark Capital, Mayfield Fund, Dag Ventures, First Round Capital, and Adobe.

We’ll have a panel on gamifying mobile apps at our upcoming conference, which will explore the most disruptive game technologies and business models at our third annual GamesBeat 2011conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the disruptive trends in the mobile games market. GamesBeat is co-located with our MobileBeat 2011conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com.