SmallWorlds, the web-based virtual world platform that launched a well-received product last year, has revealed its Facebook application this week. Given SmallWorlds’ focus on social media integration, it’s not surprising to see SmallWorlds with a Facebook app. It’s designed to push engagement and media-sharing opportunities, which is a core concept for the SmallWorlds virtual environment to begin with.
The SmallWorlds Facebook app mostly consists of an embedded version of your SmallWorlds creation on your Facebook Profile. From there, you can interact within the SmallWorlds virtual realm without leaving Facebook.
Once you’ve added your SmallWorlds virtual environment on Facebook, you can go on to crate avatars, decorate rooms, play games, watch videos, listen to music and embark on the popular SmallWorlds missions, offering a pretty robust virtual experience that’s akin to the standalone site. There’s also a more social option of making your Facebook profile accessible to others within SmallWorlds, linking the SmallWorlds site with individuals’ Facebook pages in a deeper manner.
This is yet another way in which SmallWorlds is hoping to make its standalone application more social, as users can now tap into their Facebook social graph by sharing SmallWorlds content on Facebook and making their own Facebook profile yet another portal for extending the virtual experience to others. It’s a small step towards making the web itself more of a virtual “world” in the sense of an avatar that can reside within the Internet.
And as SmallWorlds launched with a number of integrated social media options for viewing YouTube videos or Flickr photos, adding Facebook integration to its other initiatives is a natural progression for the virtual world. There are a handful of similar virtual worlds that integrated with Facebook some time ago, including Vivaty and Zynga’s popular YoVille. So there’s clearly an ongoing effort to combine social media with virtual worlds in a way that’s easy to use, and is comprehensive to web users given the way in which these previously disparate products are being combined for a more seamless experience.