Playfire, the social network that tracks members' gaming activities and stats across Xbox Live, Sony Entertainment Network and Steam has now reached a million members.
While this is of course nothing compared to the behemoth that is Facebook, or even the now somewhat defunct MySpace, for any social network the million man figure is quite a milestone. Granted, this network can operate almost completely without any active user input, so it seems unlikely those are a million regular members, but it's noteworthy nonetheless.
On top of this, in the same way that Facebook usage habits have become quite interesting for not only advertisers but social commentators, the data collected by the Playfire network is providing a unique insight into the preferences of gamers. Once a user has signed up to the network and twinned it with their Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Steam accounts, their gaming habits are tracked for the life of the account, leading to some interesting stats beyond just sales figures.
In an interview with TechCrunch, head of Playfire Kieran O'Neill said: "There are so many different ways of using this to improve the lives of gamers: knowing what they like just by how often they play certain games, and using that data to find games they'll love but haven't heard of. We sit at the center of an industry where $50 billion is spent per year. We've had quite a lot of interest from games publishers and developers who are keen to work with us to use that data to build better games."
Tracking everything certainly provides a great opportunity for achievement whores to extend their online egos that bit further and the garnered data will of course be interesting for those writing papers and advertisers, but do we need another social network? This is the question that will likely be answered over the coming few years when it's decided whether a site like Facebook can take everyone's online social interaction, or do we want to compartmentalise our interactions into different sites?