Expanding its efforts to encourage game developers to release titles for its platform, Hi5 has launched a new developer portal
that aims to help creators integrate their content on the social network.
In its announcement for the portal, Hi5 points out that "other networks" have been shutting down viral channels that help titles acquire and re-engage players -- clearly a reference to Facebook's recent movies to restrict "notification spam" from application, a change that causing the audiences for many of the site's most popular games to shrink dramatically.
Hi5 says that its new portal and game developer program, the latter of which launched last May, take the opposite approach and are actually opening up new viral channels that are designed to help developers drive acquisition and monetization of their games. The social network says it's invested heavily in creating new hooks for promoting developers' content.
The company added that studios now have access to Virtual Goods and Gifts API that hook into its gift economy (this is in addition to its existing Payments API). With this support, third-party games on the social network can provide gifts and other virtual goods that persists on user profile pages, thus triggering "the viral channels that get new content discovered."
Developers can also access OpenSocial/Facebook-compatible API documentation for "all integration points, sample source code, reference guides on promoting and monetizing games on hi5, revenue share terms, and distribution agreements". They can submit their games and apps for approval directly from the portal, and manage their Hi5 titles from one place.
"With the release of our new developer portal and support for Facebook-compatible APIs, it is now nearly frictionless for developers to publish their games in our network," says Hi5's CTO and president Alex St. John. "As of today, anybody who has made the investment to create a social media game is simply throwing money away if they don't publish it on hi5 as quickly as possible. It's virtually effortless."