Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is now back in the news, and it’s on good terms. According to intelligence firm Sensor Tower, Zynga’s Words With Friends game experienced 74% rise in downloads in the week of September 12 in comparison to the prior 7-day period. This was all thanks to the debut of iOS 10, reports Venture Beat.

Zynga Words With Friends
Words With Friends by drukelly, Flickr

Zynga must thank Apple

Apple introduced the App Store for iMessage in the latest revision of its mobile operating system. It allows developers to launch apps with full integration with the iPhone messaging platform. Zynga made full use of that opportunity, resulting in huge popularity for the game. iOS 10 users can play matches and chat about them with their friends by appearing in the App Store for iMessage, notes Venture Beat.

Other developers are using the new feature to introduce sticker packs and GIFs to iMessage. Once the iMessage integration went live, the JibJab app, which lets iPhone users make their own animated stickers, saw a huge increase of 1,583% in downloads. Zynga’s Words With Friends profited early from jumping on this new App Store because it’s one of the few games to do so.

In a blog post, Randy Nelson, Sensor Tower’s head of mobile insights, wrote that the list of the top five “was rounded out by Zynga’s Words With Friends, the classic word building game. [It] received heavy featuring from Apple as one of the first gaming titles — and the only in our top 10 — to feature direct iMessage integration.”

Launched in 2009, Words With Friends is still one of Zynga’s most important properties, representing a significant portion its monthly active players.

Zynga appoints former EA executive as new CFO

In other Zynga news, Gerard Griffin, who spent ten years at Electronic Arts, has recently been appointed as Zynga’s chief financial officer. Griffin served as senior vice president of finance with EA and was the finance leader for the company’s Studios, Marketing and Publishing organizations.

“I’ve always had a passion for media and entertainment, and I’m incredibly excited by Zynga’s unique ability to connect people around the world through games,” Griffin said.

Zynga is well-positioned to be a leader in the growing mobile industry with a strong portfolio of innovative IP, incredible talent and deep player relationships, the executive said.

On Monday, Zynga shares closed down 1.72% at $2.86. Year to date, the stock is up almost 7%, while in the last year, it is up more than 21%. The stock has a 52-week high of $3.02 and a 52-week low of $1.78.

Photo by drukelly