About a month ago, Fishbat (an online marketing firm that monitors social media) analyzed the number of users and software downloads of Steam. Steam is a software program made by Valve, a video game and technology developer, and is very popular with the gaming community. Steam is very popular because users can purchase and download games instantly without the need of a physical copy. Valve announced that they would be expanding Steam with downloadable software other than video games. According to an article by PR Web, “The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games,” says Mark Richardson at Valve. “They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests.” This is huge potential for social media users as well. Just games alone on Facebook are very popular, such as FarmVille. So having software downloads in addition to video games from Steam, this could increase users for Steam plus increasing social media traffic.
The expansion of Steam is actually already released. It is called Steam Greenlight and hundreds of software titles are already available to vote on. Steam Greenlight was officially launched on September 5th. Each time a title gets a vote, it gives that software title more of a chance to be actually made through the help with Valve. That will definitely give independent titles more attention and therefore get the social media market to chime in as well. Each software title will be able to download to Steam’s cloud service and automatic updating. This is a great move on Valve’s part because I bet they can capture the same or comparable traffic that Facebook receives for their games. This will generate the social media users to start using Steam and therefore Steam could be a popular topic to talk about among the community. On the other hand, people who use Steam already might utilize social media more often to talk about their positive experiences with Valve. Sales and popularity for Steam will only increase through this move.