If their latest ad campaign is anything to go by, RenRen – China’s answer to Facebook – seems to have shifted its marketing focus to social gaming:
The animated animals, vegetables and furniture are references to China’s leading social games, which allow users to manage virtual farms, vegetable patches and restaurants.
The message and tone of this campaign contrasts with its campaign last year, which showcased ‘real-life’ stories of people using RenRen to connect:
Adquan.com (Chinese) claims that this shift is RenRen’s answer to the much-discussed question of whether China’s online social networks are for meeting new people or allowing existing friends to play.
This might be going a little far, since Chinese social networks can provide both services simultaneously. For me, however, the new campaign at least highlights one thing: that social gaming is currently far more important to Chinese online social networks than their Western counterparts.