In today's connected world, there seems to be a social network for everyone and everything-from family and friends to pleasure and business. People who like to play and discover games are double jumping at their own social networking site.
"Raptr started out of a personal frustration that playing with friends just wasn't as easy as it should be," says Dennis "Thresh" Fong, former competitive gamer, and founder and CEO of the leading gaming-focused social community. "On the PC, there are a ton of different apps we use while we're playing, and they aren't really integrated into a single platform and interface. As a gamer that plays on multiple platforms, it was near impossible to keep track of all my friends and what they were doing. Raptr was designed to change all of that."
With the free platform, you can find all your gaming friends no matter the platform, see what your friends are playing in real time across your favorite platforms, chat with them, broadcast your game play live to the world, and earn rewards while doing so. You can even browse the web without leaving your games while using Raptr.
"Our new PC game optimization feature is also a ... I'm doing everything I can not to use the term 'game changer' here, but I guess it literally is that," says Fong, who founded Raptr in 2007. "With a console you can just put in a game and go, but PC gamers have to do some tedious settings tweaking to fully use their rig's performance. Our game optimization feature fixes that and makes it easy to get your games looking and playing at their best."
That combined with Raptr's social and community tools really helps bring a seamless console-like experience to PC gamers. The robust site not only allows users to keep tabs on what their friends are doing throughout the gaming world, it also offers gaming recommendations, accomplishment updates, and a host of other Facebook-like features, including:
- A personal gamer profile that tracks your game play and achievements activity.
- A personalized news feed that aggregates the most interesting discussions, news, videos, screenshots, and strategy guides from around the web.
- Klout-like ranks based on how much you play, allowing you to see how you stack up against your friends and the community.
- In-game features such as live streaming through Twitch, cross IM chat, and video and screenshot capturing.
- Real rewards to unlock. "The rewards program is certainly the most tangible," Fong says. "Raptr gives you real rewards like free games, downloadable content, access to betas, and more, just for tracking your game play hours. We've given away over $20 million in rewards to our users since 2012, and counting."
- Q&A sessions with the developers of your favorite games.
"We provide a platform for our members to interact directly with publishers and developers through rewards and community events, most notably our developer Q&As," Fong says. "We invite publishers to engage in Reddit-style AMAs with our members, which give a great forum for feedback and learning about what gamers want."
As the online world continues to evolve, Raptr has focused heavily on building new and compelling features for PC gamers. "We've just passed 19 million users on our network, and our growth is really starting to ramp up considerably from some of the new features we launched," Fong says. "Twitch, while not really a social network per se, is important to us because Raptr members can stream their game play to Twitch with one click using our desktop app," says Fong.
With all the great things happening in gaming, Raptr is fortunate to be in the position it's in. "We're on the cusp of the new consoles launching, PC gaming has proven to be still a very successful platform, and the popularity and accessibility of mobile games are bringing new gamers into the fold. Our goal is to be a daily part of gamers' lives."
Social Startups is a weekly Social Media Today column written by Shay Moser about the newest and most innovative social companies. Look for the next installment next Wednesday morning. Logos by Jesse Wells.