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How Hypercasual Gaming Can Use Social Media to Fuel Growth

Sarayah Wright
Sarayah Wright
5 min read
Posted on November 17, 2021
How Hypercasual Gaming Can Use Social Media to Fuel Growth

With nearly 50 million downloads on the Google Play Store and upwards of 500,000 downloads on the Apple Store as of September 2021, High Heels! remains a noticeable success for Zynga, who acquired the hypercasual game developer and publisher originally behind the free-to-play mobile app back in 2020. With more people spending more time on their phone in the past two years, many apps, in general, have seen an increase in usage.

However, one can really attribute the success behind the game to one thing: social media. The premise is simple yet makes for a ridiculous visual. Collect heels and use the additional height to ease through obstacles, climb over walls and balance across beams. And if you’re not careful, you can also watch as you helplessly careen off the side of the runway and to your demise.  

Since its December 2020 release date, players have taken to YouTube, Twitter and TikTok, posting screen recordings of themselves playing this oddly addictive game. Though it’s unclear whether developers are still releasing new levels, (they claim to do so every week) each successful run unlocks more customizable features, which is where the game really finds its comedy.  

Take a look:  

High Heels! doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Some levels have the more generic offerings you may find in a similar runner game: new locations, different costumes, fun accessories, etc. You can enjoy a game run in a Harley Quinn inspired look or even avoid copyright infringement with purchased premium skin packages as “Mia Eyelash,” “Briana Grenade” and “Hella Punch,” brazenly named after celebrities. There’s even a Squid Game inspired copycat of the app available for download.  

Several TikTok videos of people playing the game have hundreds of thousands of views. One even reached 4.5 million. Of course, nothing on the video sharing platform happens in a vacuum, and gameplay videos tend to incorporate popular pre-existing trends native to the app. In the past year, we’ve watched a game as casual as High Heels! function as a trend itself, and people still want to participate.  

Social Media Success Story: Scream Go Hero 

High Heels! follows the trajectory of another hypercasual game: Scream Go Hero. The endless runner game was originally released by Ketchapp in 2017. It’s important to note that the game is eerily similar to Yasuhati, or Eight Note.  

In the game, users manipulate their pitch in order to get the character to either jump, run or walk through obstacles. The game itself took two years to reach the height of its popularity in 2019 due to a random moment of chance.  

Screen recordings of players hilariously screaming and whispering into the voice activated game blew up all over social media. Fans even rallied to teach singer Lizzo how to screen record with audio after requesting that she play the game using one of her songs.

The iOS 11 update released two years prior gave iPhone users the ability to easily record their screen. Android devices followed suit a few years later, though third-party apps for the same purpose were also available. YouTube and Twitter filled with these videos of a tiny silhouetted icon moving by the sheer power of people literally whispering but mostly yelling (which is admittedly more fun to do) into their phones. 

Using Virality and Organic Social Media Posts To Drive Installs and Interest 

As with High Heels!, Scream Go Hero became a trend itself, being featured and played by celebrities and influencers alike. And while gameplay videos in general have been a media genre for a while now, only a few casual gaming apps have enjoyed jumps in popularity, installs and virality like High Heels! and Scream Go Hero did almost entirely because of social media. Both apps show the far-reaching potential of hypercasual games and how social media can be a vital site of strategy for developers and publishers to optimize game monetization and growth. Gamers have long been popular on streaming services like YouTube and Twitch, and now hypercasual gaming studios are getting in on this action by providing visually stimulating gameplay that attracts fans and followings on social media. 

To learn more about game monetization and how InMobi can help, feel free to check out information available on our site and download our ebook on mobile gaming

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