Facebook already utilizes some basic game dynamics to get users interacting with the site, but they have yet to implement any badge service, the most common feature of many social games. That’s what the Badges application attempts to accomplish. In order to earn additional badges, users must complete various tasks throughout Facebook, effectively making them more engaged in the site.
Foursquare has popularized the concept of badges, however the feature is rapidly becoming ubiquitous among many social applications. The new Badges application is focused strictly on this feature. Users can be notified via email or automatically have wall posts displayed which alert them to new badges that they’ve earned based on their Facebook activity.
Right now there are 35 badges which reward users for a number of actions including the following:
- Having more than 250 friends
- Being among the first of your friends to open an account
- Being tagged in more than 500 photos
- Writing 10 or more notes
- Opening more than 3 groups
While I’d assume that these numbers will change as the developer gets more data about what’s average among Facebook users, implementing a basic badge service within Facebook makes a lot of sense. With Facebook preparing to roll out a location feature, integrating badges with the location service could rapidly spell doom for Foursquare.
In other words, the timing on this application is perfect. If you want to receive virtual rewards for your Facebook activity, you should go install the Badges application