Facebook and Online Poker Join Forces
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A decade ago, you may have laughed at the idea of playing poker online, but more money exchanges hands today across the cyber tables than any other form of poker. All the pros climbed aboard, and novices from all walks of life jumped in as well, in part due to the unparalleled ease of play made possible via the Internet, and in part to poker becoming a darling of the media over the past few years. We could predict new trends, but one thing is certain: the electronic version of the game is unquestionably the future of poker. Another online craze that few could have predicted has occurred alongside the online poker boom: the incredible popularity of Facebook and MySpace, sites where people hang out with friends, meet new people, and solicit sex as if they were at their local tavern.
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Obviously the income potential of these two phenomenon is tremendous. It was only a matter of time before someone thought of combining forces. Why not marry the cyber poker craze with the cyber social craze?
That's precisely what Facebook has done: you can now play your favorite game of Texas Hold'em on the web's best known social network. Ujogo, a Facebook-sponsored poker room, has just been launched, after a study concluded that 30 million adults participate in play-money poker online for at least a few hours every week. A goldmine waiting to be excavated.
Even though it's a play money application, the genius behind this marketing scheme is evident: Facebook's free Texas Hold'em is already the third most active application on its site: at last count, the software had been installed 5.4 million times, and is attracting more than 370,000 players per day! Despite the play-money face, you can be assured that Facebook is cashing in - through referrals. The more players a member refers, the more free poker chips he receives. Boom. The data mined through this enterprise represents billions of dollars in future real money account contacts.
Facebook of course evades all issues for the time being with the UIGEA by keeping this product completely free. Kudos to the marketing team at Facebook for coming up with yet another way to cash in on the popularity of online venues, and for proving once again that the UIGEA cannot stop the progress of online gaming.