Bunchball, a leader in online gamification solutions, has just released two new plug-and-play apps built on their Nitro gamification platform that give brands influence over website navigation and content sharing. FanBox boosts website content consumption and engagement by rewarding users for tweeting, watching a video or sharing on Facebook, and GameBox increases daily visits, time on site and monetization by engaging consumers with social games like online poker.
“The scale of the audience accessible through gaming is simply staggering. In terms of potential reach, it rivals television as a medium,” writes Mashable in a recent article about "gamifying marketing."
We spoke with Rajat Paharia, Bunchball founder and CPO, about their simultaneous release of Nitro for Salesforce.com.
“Nitro for Salesforce.com motivates sales team behavior using techniques that game designers have used for years: points, badges, levels, leader boards, and real-time feedback. [It] plugs right into the Salesforce.com UI, adding a single new menu item 'Nitro' which contains the gamification features. Nitro for Salesforce adds motivation to automation in an easy-to-implement, intuitive-to-use solution.”
How is Bunchball’s product different from competitors like Badgeville?
Bunchball created the gamification industry with Nitro in 2007, and the current version of the platform reflects both the expertise and experience Bunchball has gained as the industry has evolved. Nitro is larger, more comprehensive and more scaleable than Badgeville's offering.
Nitro manages up to 70 million users monthly and tracks up to 2.3 billion actions per month, exponentially larger numbers than those announced by Badgeville in a July infographic. Nitro also includes self-expression components like Avatar builders and virtual canvas rooms, as well as a robust redemption center for virtual goods.
Now, with the introduction of Nitro Elements and Nitro for Salesforce, the Nitro Suite of products offers substantially more variety for both B2B and B2C customers looking for point solutions at varying price points.
Are social media and gaming a match made in heaven?
Social media and gaming definitely go hand-in-hand. We started Bunchball in 2005 based on the notion that it was easy to play games online with random strangers or by yourself, but not with friends. To provide a solution to this problem, Bunchball built a gaming platform that was meant to be integrated into social networking sites.
In 2005, we were ahead of our time. Now, the time is right and we have taken the social media and gaming relationship to the next level with the upcoming launch of Nitro Elements.
What's next on the gaming horizon?
The game mechanics involved in gamification include points, levels, high score tables, achievements, virtual goods and real-time feedback – all attributes that address our fundamental human needs for reward, status, achievement, competition, self-expression and altruism.
A June 2011 study by Saatchi & Saatchi found that 55 percent of Americans would like to work for a company that utilizes gamification to increase productivity. Implementing game dynamics into the workplace has become a key way for management to reinforce positive employee behaviors and increase job satisfaction.
One final question for Paharia, about the origin of Bunchball’s name, drew an answer that articulates how the next generation of sites like BunchBall, Badgeville and Gamify are iterating game mechanics to a level of integration and use as easy as customizing a WordPress site:
"Bunchball" refers to a behavior that occurs in soccer. As the ball moves back and forth on the field, a growing number of players "bunch" around the ball in hopes of directly impacting the game's progression. We believe gamification can inspire similar behavior - give people interesting, compelling things to do on a web site or community and watch them more actively participate in the game.”