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If you have been a part of the mobile or Facebook games market, you?ve probably heard about the phrase monetization. To put it in short it refers to ways of earning money from your mobile or Facebook application. This word came up following an intriguing situation that games developers faced in their first days in this market they were getting huge amounts of traffic but could not figure out how to earn money out of it. This also refers to casual games that were based on gambling, such as slots or poker, but in a fun mode. Their main way of earning money was placing adss in different formats. All this changed when one of the giants in this arena figured out how to make cash, and a lot of it, out of those casual games. This of course refers to Zynga. In fact, a lot of games developers use Zynga to learn how to monetize their application and turn it from a nice to have and impressive app, to a highly profitable one.So what is happening these days in mobile and Facebook apps

Monetizing has developed quite a lot since its initial ad placement days. In fact, ad placement is considered the least profitable format of monetizing. In current days you have a completely different approach that is based on selling virtual items to players. Those items can come in different formats: from getting access to a higher playing level to online poker chips. The biggest challenge is to figure out what is the thing which your users will be willing to buy while using your app. A fantastic, relatively recent, example is the ?Manager? application which runs for mobile and Facebook users. It?s a game that lets you manage a soccer team and run football games. You don?t see an actual game happening, but you can update your strategy while it happens, train players, buy players and just about act like real live soccer manager does. The monetization in this app is very sophisticated you can manage your team for free for as long as you want and you can win your first championship this way with no problem. However, as you go up to a more difficult level, the tournaments become harder to win. You have to think about new strategies and of course get professional football players. To do that you have to have tokens which you must buy with real cash. The moment you have had an experience of the game and have won some a championship, you?re most likely to spend cash in order to continue to play and win. It is a basic foot in the door technique, and it actually works.The following stage of monetizing

What was, or maybe still is, a huge taboo when it comes to mobile and FB applications, is slowly sneaking in. This obviously refers to the option to play games for money, real money that is. Until now the only way to do that is playing in known web gambling sites which offer a mobile variation for their games. Now it seems that is going to change. Around October, 2012, Zynga has published a press release saying that they are joining forces with Bwin.Party and are beginning a process of turning some of their games into gambling games. They have not said anything yet about an expected launch date, but the fact that they have issued such controversial news might be enough to state that they are dead serious. Alternatively, they are doing this to try and create a buzz which might help them sniff around and get the main industry?s reactions to such a change. The interesting thing about this is they completely avoided using the word gambling in all of their publications. They systematically prefer using a more innocent term real money gaming. Whatever it is, this announcement opens a new path to a frontier where no mobile or Facebook developer has ever gone before. Now we have to wait to see if this is a false alarm or it?s actually here to stay.

Daniel Craigen is an app developer who’s been in the mobile and Facebook gaming industry for the past 4 years. You can find more articles by him in his site, where you can play and win with full access to a Real money gaming experience as well as free casual games.