Lotum Grows 4 Pics 1 Word to 8MM Monthly Users in 5 Months on Facebook Instant Games

The Story

Lotum, a mobile game developer near Frankfurt, Germany, proves that big impact can come from a small team. Over a decade ago, Lotum’s founders built the company on that belief, and it holds true today. With a team of just thirty, Lotum has created apps with over 350 million downloads to date. The company’s apps frequently top the charts, outranking competitors with bigger teams and larger budgets.

The Goal

Lotum knows the value of social connections to develop a winning game. The company has made a practice of building games that allow players to enjoy highly social experiences across channels.

The mobile app version of Lotum's 4 Pics 1 Word had seen remarkable success. In order to scale, the team wanted a platform that would develop the social experience of the game to spur and support viral growth.

The Solution

Partnering with Facebook and the HTML5 Instant Games Platform

Lotum brought 4 Pics 1 Word to the new Facebook Instant Games platform in 2017. They were drawn to the potential of Facebook’s large, built-in audience, and the social connections the platform would support.

The game gained traction immediately. Since no download was required, new players faced no obstacles to onboard. And it was easy for players to keep coming back, since they could re-enter the game directly through invitations from the interactive game bot.

4 Pics 1 Word App
Quiz Planet App

Frictionless onboarding was only the beginning. With social connections built into the platform, engagement soared on 4 Pics 1 Word. Players could easily invite friends to join the game or ask their friends for hints. Friends could click on the invitation through Facebook or Messenger and immediately enter the game, even if they had never played before.

Facebook Analytics Makes Development Easier

The success of 4 Pics 1 Word convinced Lotum to expand on the platform. The platform's deep integration with Facebook Analytics allowed Lotum to leverage it as its primary tool for A/B testing, which led to quicker improvements and even more releases with improved metrics. Code changes could be rolled out instantly, and since updates were automatic, users were always playing on the latest version.

Game Bots and Other Discovery Sources Drive Massive Growth

Lotum has tapped into the many discovery surfaces across Instant Games. Integration with Facebook and Messenger creates a variety of frictionless entry points, from game bot and context updates, to homescreen shortcuts. For one of Lotum's popular games, while 42% of players enter through the Instant Games Hub, another 32% enter through the game bot, and 13% come through a bookmark. The variety of entry points democratizes the platform and makes it possible for more games to win.

4 Pics 1 Word Game Switch
4 Pics 1 Word Leaderboards

Instant Games are the next level of frictionless social entertainment. We are just seeing the very beginning of the possibilities.

Jens Abke, Co-founder, Lotum

The Results


8 million MAP in five months for 4 Pics 1 Word


10 million MAP in six months for The Test


games live on Facebook Instant Game