Zynga CIO Chrapaty jumps ship, becomes cloud-storage CEO

Following infrastructure leadership roles at Microsoft and Zynga, Debra Chrapaty will move from Zynga to enterprise cloud storage player Nirvanix. Despite the fierce competition facing Nirvanix, Chrapaty is optimistic about the company’s opportunities.

ShoeDazzle… no longer dazzling

ShoeDazzle had a great thing going with its shoes-as-a-subscription service, and then it decided to switch business models. Now it’s flailing, and people are pointing fingers at new CEO Bill Strauss, but it’s not quite that simple.

Zynga exec exodus continues as gaming company loses infrastructure CTO

Zynga which has been losing senior executives with an alarming rate lost another key member recently – its CTO of infrastructure. Earlier this summer, the company lost about seven executives including Mike Verdu, Zynga’s former chief creative officer and Bill Mooney, who spearheaded the Farmville franchise.

When did addiction become a good thing?

Tech companies have become increasingly adept at manufacturing desire, but to what end? Behavior designer Jason Hreha argues that the industry needs to seriously consider the impact of its products. Are we helping our users lead better lives, or are we making them compulsive, impatient and distractible?

Facebook stock at half-off, drops below $20 a share

Welcome to life as a public company: Facebook stock has dropped to around $20 a share, almost half its IPO price. It’s a rough time out there for social-networking stocks, including game maker Zynga, but Facebook’s slide is eye-popping.

Scaling problems and breaking the law: A Structure 2012 recap

Scale breaks everything. When you move from thinking 10,000 servers is a lot to buying hundreds of thousands a year your perspectives change. And that shift in perspective has changed the information technology industry. We cover some of the biggest takeaways from our Structure 2012 conference.

Zynga CIO: “We need more innovation on power consumption”

Switching its cloud computing infrastructure from Amazon to its own optimized data center has resulted in far greater efficiency and performance for the social gaming company, its CIO, Debra Chrapaty, told GigaOM Structure 2012 Wednesday. But the technologies needed to optimize power consumption still need improvement.

Which Facebook apps are people really using?

User engagement can be a very slippery statistic. Although sites and apps like to talk about how fast their unique visitors are growing, it’s more important to know how many of those users are actually using the site regularly.

Social gaming to gambling: states inch forward

When will the floodgates open? It feels like an eternity that the casino industry and makers of games like Zynga Poker have been waiting for states to flip a legal switch that will let them turn virtual gaming into real gambling.

ISwifter’s TheWorx iPad app recreates Facebook, but with games

ISwifter is showing how it can create a full-fledged Facebook app that also includes Flash gaming. TheWorx iPad app, a Facebook application that is set to go live next month, will provide users with access to status updates, their news feed and photos and also gaming via an App Hub.

3 key lessons from Facebook & Zynga’s shopping spree

Past one month has been interesting, to put it mildly. Facebook snapped up Instagram for $1 billion and Zynga lookout OMGPop for $200 million However, here are three key lessons (and takeaways) between these two deals and what they say about both these companies.

Draw Something’s unlikely power boost: China

Draw Something has gotten a big boost from China, an unlikely market for a game that asks people to draw English words and phrases. But the game is a top 10 hit and it looks like users are finding creative ways to play the game.

Zynga and the perils of becoming a platform

Zynga’s move to create its own social gaming network outside Facebook is a positive shift to reduce its dependence on someone else’s social network. But being a platform provider and aggregator of entertainment options is a hard business and not one to be taken lightly.

Zynga CTO talks up Z Cloud 2.0, shift away from Amazon

Game giant Zynga is weaning itself from Amazon’s infrastructure as it moves the bulk of its workloads onto its internal Z Cloud infrastructure. Zynga’s CTO said the company has optimized Z Cloud for its games, so it is more efficient than the public cloud provider.

What’s this about Zynga and whales?

Zynga, which recently went public, is a social gaming trailblazer and is one of the biggest game providers for the Facebook platform. However, the company has received a lukewarm reception on Wall Street and that trend continues. An analyst report reveals some facts that explain why.

Let the games begin: Games available now on Google+

Google is upping the competition with Facebook by turning on games for its Google+ social network, the company announced today. The first titles include Angry Birds from Rovio, Bejeweled Blitz from PopCap and most notably Zynga Poker from longtime Facebook game developer Zynga.

Top VC: We’ve got bigger problems than Europe vs USA

A report examining the success rate of European venture capital compared to the U.S. sparked heated discussion. But some argue that even the best statistics ignore the real problems that face entrepreneurs and investors — no matter which side of the Atlantic they are on.

The Morning Lowdown 07-20-11

»  James and Rupert Murdoch Have Lunch At Parliament: A Grilling And Some Pie (paidContent)

»  News International ‘Deli…

How Zynga Is Playing to Win With Wonderland

Zynga has been on a tear recently, buying 12 smaller games studios in the past year. But its latest purchase, British mobile development outfit Wonderland, gives a strong indication of what the red-hot company intends all of its spending to achieve.

Mail.ru: The Secret King of Silicon Valley Stock

Russia’s biggest Internet company, Mail.ru, has made its financial results public for the first time — and in doing so has revealed that despite relatively slim profits, it holds as much as $2 billion of hot technology companies such as Facebook and Groupon

Zynga Hires EA’s Schappert As COO

Another high-profile hire for Zynga representative of how fast the social games company has grown: John Schappert, the COO of video game gia…

Can We Avoid Another Internet Bubble?

With Facebook now worth billions, there is concern that another damaging Internet bubble is in the works. But it is possible to prevent another boom and bust cycle from happening — as long as we keep looking for the bigger picture.

The Morning Lowdown 02.14.2011

»  Social gamer Zynga is looking to raise $250 million in new funding in a deal that could value the three-year-old start-up betwe…

Zynga’s Latest Buy: Area/Code

Zynga is purchasing game developer Area/Code, which developed popular Facebook game CSI:Crime City, along with Ubisoft, and iPhone game Drop…

Zynga Buys Social Browser Developer Flock

Zynga has purchased browser developer Flock in its latest move to beef up its workforce. Six-year-old Flock is behind a so-called “social we…

Inflated Tech Valuations? Blame Uncle Sam

Thanks to the feds and Sarbanes-Oxley, tech valuations on the secondary market are surging as retail investors pay huge premiums to buy a stake in Facebook, Twitter. The feds made the moribund IPO market even worse, and the result has made it harder for retail investors.

Zynga Doubles Down On Mobile With Newtoy Buy

Zynga is doubling down on mobile games, buying mobile game developer Newtoy, which is best known for the hit iOS game Words With Friends. Du…

Hot Developers Showing More Love for Android

We keep hearing about how developers are going to start focusing more on Android. But now in the last 24 hours, we’ve gotten some concrete signs that the platform is getting more attention from big time developers. Here’s what’s happened:

Facebook Apps Leaking User Info to Third Parties

Some of the most popular Facebook apps — including games such as Zynga’s FarmVille, which has almost 60 million users — are transmitting information about users to third parties, including companies that are building profiles for sale to advertisers, according to a news report.

Zynga’s Latest Purchase: Bonfire Studios

Zynga is buying up Bonfire Studios, a game developer started two years ago by several former employees from Microsoft-owned video game devel…

Zynga Hires Yahoo’s Ko As Mobile Chief

David Ko, the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) SVP who left last week as part of an executive exodus, is joining Zynga as the social gaming giant’s head o…

Early Zynga and Facebook Insiders Spill the Beans

Two stories attempt to deepen the public images of the early days of Facebook and Zynga, but to different effects, with Zynga employees condemning the company for its anti-innovation ethos, and a former Harvard student cleaning up perceptions of the early days of Facebook.

The Morning Lowdown 08.25.10

»  The month-long battle between Random House and literary agent Andrew Wylie seems to be over. The publisher is claiming victory,…

Are Google and Zynga Working on a Gaming Deal?

Google has invested $100 million or more in game developer Zynga, the company behind popular Facebook games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars, according to a news report. The web giant is said to be planning to launch a gaming platform to be called Google Games.

Farmville Now On the iPhone

Those crops need harvesting! Social phenomenon Farmville, originally announced early this month at Apple’s WWDC, is now available on the iPhone and iPod touch for free. Let the social farming begin!

Zynga Launches New Game Frontierville on Facebook

Zynga, after months of rumors about a strain in their relationship and a dalliance with non-Facebook platforms like Yahoo, is sticking close to the social network for the launch of its newest game, a Farmville-style offering called Frontierville.

How Zynga Survived FarmVille

When Zynga launched FarmVille, it hoped for 200,000 daily active users in the first two months. For each of the first 26 weeks FarmVille added 1 million new users. The story of Mark William’s last two years has been trying to support such unpredictable growth.

Zynga Buys Online Game Startup Challenge Games

It isn’t matching rival Playdom’s acquisition pace — at least yet — but social game giant Zynga has made its second acquisition in two wee…

Memo to John Doerr: We Are Well Into the Third Wave

Social, Mobile and New Commerce — that doesn’t addup to the third wave of anything. It is the natural evolution of the Internet. It was obvious in 2002 that with more broadband, more devices and more people, the Internet revolution, which began in 1995 would continue.

Why Facebook and Zynga Declared a 5-Year Truce

Facebook and Zynga, the social network and its most popular game developer, have settled some of their differences and agreed to work together for the next five years. The two companies realized they need each other, even if their objectives are not always aligned.

Facebook vs. Zynga: The Turf War

Zynga and Facebook have had an extremely symbiotic relationship to date, but after Facebook tried to use its weight to hold Zynga captive the social gaming company is mad as hell. Zynga is reportedly moving forward with efforts to launch its own social gaming network.