Over the past years, there have been a number of apps and products that have leveraged gamification techniques in order to increase user engagement, motivation, and retention levels.
In simple terms, gamification is the process of adding game-like rewards to an activity in order to make it more motivating. In the context of communities and social network platforms, gamification can provide users with an incentive to contribute and participate more often. For example, by offering badges and titles to contributors, users may feel more incentivized to stay active and post content. Gamification in communities also helps to evoke feelings such as pride and belongingness.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some examples of gamification in social networking platforms and communities.
Interested in seeing more examples? I also published a post covering gamification in B2B SaaS applications, and examples of apps using gamification to boost habits and productivity.
1. Facebook (Community Awards)
Facebook is always toying with new ideas and features, but they recently rolled out a “Community Awards” feature that allows group members to give out awards to other users on a weekly basis. There are various awards that can be given out, such as “Insightful” and “Relevant”, depending on the user’s contributions within that group.
Additionally, Facebook Groups have “Group Badges” of their own, which are automatically applied to users based either on their role or engagement within that group.
For example, a “Conversation Starter” is someone who creates engaging posts and comments and displays next to their username (within that group) for 1 month. It’s a great little way to keep gorup members motivated to post and stay engaged within the group.
2. Reddit Awards
Reddit allows users to give each other awards as a way to recognize and react to each other’s contributions. Users can purchase “Reddit Coins” and use these coins to purchase awards for other Redditors.
Awarding a post or comment highlights it for all to see, and some Awards also grant the honoree special bonuses and perks.
Beam is an online community platform-based SaaS that is centered around gamification itself. The platform brings together a number of gamified elements into their community, including custom reactions, quests, badges, levels, ranks, profile upgrades, and more.
It’s a new startup and has a lot of room to grow as a SaaS, but still worth including as an example for its cute and fancy characters and illustrations.
Discord is a VoIP and instant messaging platform with more than 150+ million monthly active users to date. Users communicate with each other in communities called “servers” via chat and voice channels.
Discord offers a paid membership plan called “Discord Nitro”, which is full of gamified elements. The upgraded plan gives users access to features like custom emojis, exclusive stickers, animated avatars, increased profile customization, and many more server enhancements.
Discord additionally allows its users to send and receive gifts – ranging from Nitro subscriptions to YouTube membership codes, and to manage all these inside a “Gift Inventory”. It’s a fun little way to create intrigue and excitement upon receiving a gift.
5. Adobe Support
Most people these days are familiar with Adobe, a household name that pioneered the creative space with their software such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
The software company runs a community discussion board that allow users to engage and interact with each other, share tips, find inspiration, and get support. Although their forums and infrastructure have often changed over the years, they have consistently utilized gamification elements to keep their users engaged and active. One example has been their frequent usage of ranks and badges which are added to users’ profiles after certain contributions and activities.
6. Twitch (Chat Badges)
With more than 15+ million active daily users, Twitch is home to video game steamers all over the world.
Twitch’s usage of game mechanics have allowed its massive community of streamers and viewers to feel engaged and rewarded for using its platform.
The platform uses a mix of achievements, levels, chat badges, leaderboards, and more for both sides of its platform – the streamers and viewers (spectators). For example, viewers (spectators) can unlock tiered gift badges, and streamers can complete achievements which encourage them to stream more and make their way into the affiliate / partner program.
LinkedIn needs no introduction – it’s arguably the definitive social network for professional networking. They’ve incorporated an element of gamification into their profiles by displaying progress bars and profile strength.
In order to increase profile completion, LinkedIn shows a profile strength bar right within the user’s dashboard. By completing certain actions like adding a profile picture or skills to your profile, the bar increases. This works because it keeps the users engaged invested, and instills a sense of ownership into the platform.
Got an example you’d like to share?
Are there any examples you think are interesting and you’d like to see added to this list? Feel free to send me an email.