There’s no question that Zynga’s latest data numbers are impressive, with the company moving mountains of data per day, or roughly one petabyte per day. As Zynga’s CTO Cadir Lee explained at this morning’s Oracle Openworld keynote, the company is adding as many as 1,000 servers each week to satisfy its growing user base (10% of the internet has now played a Zynga game) and increasing connectivity (there are 3 billion connections between its users).
After the presentation, we got a chance to connect with Lee on TechCrunch TV to get some more color on those numbers.
Although Lee kept many stats (such as the number of total servers) close to his chest, he did shed some interesting light on data usage. According to Lee, there’s actually not significant variability in usage patterns around the globe. Although there are occasional spikes, overall, data usage tends to remain fairly consistent. “Users across the whole world play in fairly consistent patterns and it takes something momentous to change that. There are only a few things that have done it, the World Cup is one of these things actually… we would see these Ws in our graphs, where the first half of the World Cup there would be a dip, and then people would come back at halftime, and then the second half of the World Cup there would be a dip, and if there was overtime there would be another dip at the end. But it really takes something that big in order to change how the traffic moves.”
I also asked him about the latest changes to Facebook games and how that will affect Zynga. On Tuesday evening, Facebook announced that users’ game stories and notifications will be targeted at friends who are also playing the same game. Friends who are not users of that game will receive abstract “discovery stories.” The Facebook news feed has been a critical recruitment tool for Zynga, so any change here could affect the number of new sign-ups. For now, the diplomatic Lee is staying on the fence, but he seemed to be somewhat concerned that the changes could affect discoverability: “Well I still don’t know how it’s going to turn out, we’re obviously going to be watching that closely in the next days and weeks. In concept we really like the idea that people can interact with the people they want to interact with. And we actually really like the concept of narrowcasting which says that you’re sharing really with your friends who are in the same experiences as you but with that said, one of the great things about Facebook is the ability to discover new things, so we’ll have to see how it turns out.”
See full video above.
My apologies for the camera quality, it was shot in a crowded conference hall with my Flip cam.