Facebook has quickly become a top destination for game play, according to new data from the social network.
More than 235 million people globally are playing games on its site, the company said today. That figure is up from 205 million gamers using the service a year ago at this time. Facebook also noted that its total gamer userbase has grown 8.4 percent since the beginning of 2012 and that last month alone, it drove its users to Apple's App Store and Google's Play marketplace over 170 million times.
Facebook is packed with games, including the popular Words with Friends and FarmVille. The site has historically been a go-to spot for so-called casual gamers looking for social titles or less-sophisticated games. Those casual titles have become a key revenue opportunity for Facebook, which offers virtual currency, called Credits. Facebook takes 30 percent of the revenue generated through Credits transactions.
Facebook relies heavily on Zynga, creator of popular titles such as FarmVille and CityVille, to drive its Credits transactions. But after a few disappointing quarters, Zynga has decided to reorganize its operation and focus more on mobile gaming. That move could eventually spell real trouble for Facebook.
In related news, Facebook revealed today that its App Center has been performing well and has been used by over 150 million people in the last month. App Center is driving 2.4 times more installs than the previous apps and games dashboard, Facebook said.