Zynga launches independent portal

Social gaming company Zynga has launched its own portal, separate from Facebook, which could put a dent in the social network’s revenues.

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Zynga accounts for around 12% ($445m) of Facebook’s total revenue, according to the social network’s recent IPO filing, and Zynga gets about 90% of its revenue through Facebook.

The stand-alone Zynga.com destination will allow users to play its popular games such as Farmville and Words With Friends without having to be on the Facebook site, although they will still need to log in through Facebook Connect and pay using the Facebook Credits currency.

Users will also be able able to play games with people beyond their Facebook companions, dubbed “zFriends”.

Zynga.com is inviting third party developers to create games for the portal, which will also heighten its rivalry with Facebook’s gaming offer.

Zynga will offer developers access to advertising promotions to increase their games’ visibility to its 240 million monthly active users and will also provide them analytics about how gamers are interacting with their products.

John Schappert, Zynga’s chief financial officer, told VentureBeat the company has no intention to divorce itself from Facebook.

He said: “We’ve been a web/game company delivering content to our players and developing our own internal infrastructure and technology and now we’re transforming into a gaming and platform company.”

Zynga’s advertising revenues rocketed 230% to $27.3m (£17.2m) in its latest quarter, contributing to total revenues of £1.14bn (£727m) for the whole of 2011.

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