Tell your friends to hit the App Store or Android market, there’s a new update for Draw Something out today with some cool new features. Now you can chat with friends while you play, save your drawings to your phone or tablet, and share those drawings straight to Facebook or Twitter. Zynga, who recently acquired Draw Something and its developer OMGPOP for over $180 million, hopes these social and viral improvements will restart growth as the app has started bleeding users over the last few weeks.
Despite Zynga’s notoriety for designing games to maximize addictiveness and the amount users spend, there’s been no tweaks to Draw Something’s virtual goods and uncompetitive style. Instead, former OMGPOP CEO and new Zynga Mobile New York General Manager Dan Porter told The Guardian the game was successful because “it’s very chilled, very zen”.
Chill and zen is nice, don’t get me wrong, but it can also get boring. Today’s update should liven things up. When you finish drawing or guessing you can send a comment to your partner. That’ll be great for cluing people into inside jokes or funny stories associated with your little masterpiece. Sadly you can also use it to just tell your partner “It’s Beyonce”. Zynga should probably scan comments for the word you’re drawing and not let you mention it.
Previously to share your drawings you had to screenshot and upload them through Facebook or Twitter’s apps. Now to make sharing easier and also get your friends to install the app, Draw Somethings lets you post directly to social networks, and your masterpiece will be accompanied by a http://drawso.me URL leading to the Draw Something app download page. Other new features let you pull down on your current games screen to refresh and see if it’s your turn yet, and let you undo the last line you drew.
While more social and viral is good, I still think it needs to make the game more challenging or interesting to regain the 2.5 million daily users it lost in the last two weeks according to AppData, which brought it from 14.6 million to 12.1 million DAU. Some other features Porter hinted at to The Guardian’s Stuart Dredge include limits on how long you get to draw, or creating a Draw Something game show you can participate in from your app. Personally, I think an occasional lightning round where you have to draw three different things in a minute would produce some hilarious sketches.