This is a more in-depth look into the phenomena I kind of got at in my last Zynga posting. Social gaming was never a sustainable construct the way companies like Zynga went about it. Money quote:
“Whereas most of the other traits of social games, the user graphs and friend comparison charts, the gifting and the sharing? Most of it was just a novelty for users at first and then a massive annoyance and then literally the thing they hated most in all the world. They were valuable to the game maker, but not to the user. The users just sort of hated them after a while.”
So yes, game designers are aware that the next time one of your friends makes a post about buying a cow, your primary reaction is to wish you could stab them through the computer.