Look out Zenga, Amazon wants to play games. The e-tailer is stepping up its social networking and gaming efforts in a bid to garner share in a booming industry – and one which it has missed out on, to date.
A new Social Games Group group has already been set up, indicating Amazon games will soon be on the ever expanding menu.
To date, there appears nothing Amazon isn’t willing to turn its hand to, although it is yet unclear how deep its social networking will go.
One possibly is creating its own soft social network like Google+ where consumers connect with each other about products and other common interests – a consumer’s answer to Facebook.
It could also expand its consumer reviews and ‘recommendaitons’ and add a ‘Like’ type feature similar to The Social Network.
The new Social Games Group will take on gaming giant Zynga, the makers of Farmville and Zynga Poker, according to reports.
Amazon.com certainly has the visitor numbers to gather an audience – just look how it pulled the rug from under Apple with Amazon Appstore.
The exact nature of its plans is unknown although they are building with haste.
The e-tailer hired a new director of social media, John Yurcisin, from Ogilvy & Mather in May, says Reuters, to help steer social strategies and is also on the prowl for software development engineers and Flash developers to work “on a cutting edge initiative within Amazon.”
The biggest global retailer, described by an analyst on Bloomberg TV today as an “aggressive” competitor, has already added Twitter and Facebook social networking functions to its Kindle e-reader.
But this is not the only change going on over at Amazon HQ. It is giving its ubiquitous website the once over as it prepares to launch its first ever tablet set to retail for US$250.
The reworked site “practically scream ‘tablet-optimized’, according to TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez, who was given a preview of the new design.
The new web pages show a bigger search bar and less clutter to better highlight music, e-books, digital games and applications from its Appstore using Google’s Android, the blog said.