For years now, people have used Facebook and Twitter to talk about what they’re having for dinner and received nothing in return but a bunch of annoyed friends and family. That ends now, thanks to an exclusive partnership between Badgeville, makers of the gamification service The Behavior Platform, and PeopleBrowsr, a social-media data company, to create the first incentives program that analyzes and rewards Tweets and Facebook Likes.
Gamification introduces game-like mechanics like missions and prizes to encourage user interaction and engagement, and it’s catching on.
Microsoft and Sony have employed it in their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles with Achievements and Trophies, which dole out virtual awards for in-game actions. Steam, Valve’s digital-distribution platform, also features an achievement system which even rewards things like voting for deals in its Summer Sale. In the non-gaming world, Verizon Wireless recently started offering its customers virtual badges for clicking around its website, and this generated a huge boost in traffic.
“Smart gamification is fundamentally a data challenge, where the more information you are able to track on user behavior, the more powerful your program becomes at moving the behavior needle,” said Badgeville chief Kris Duggan. “The exclusive partnership with PeopleBrowsr enables us access to a whole new level of information around user behavior in very public and valuable experiences.”
So what does this mean for you, the consumer? Here’s an example from Badgeville’s official press release:
If a customer creates a Facebook post that mentions a particular product favorably or tweets about it on Twitter, she will earn a “Social Butterfly” achievement that recognizes her contributions next time she interacts with that company’s website or mobile application. A company could also create a mission which rewards employees for completing a series of tasks such as sharing important content like company announcements and job openings.
In short, Badgeville will use PeopleBrowsr’s social media data — Twitter and Facebook activity, as well as blogging and forums — to help companies to create achievements, badges, and missions to encourage more people to engage with their websites. And the information companies gather from this participation will influence how they present and advertise their services.
The new system is currently in beta for existing Badgeville and PeopleBrowsr users, but it will open to the public later this year.