Is Zynga’s New Homepage a Facelift Or a Game Changer?

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Shares of Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) increased as much as 2.4 percent in morning trading on Friday. Besides getting slapped with an Underperform rating from analysts at CLSA, the big news is that the social game developer will be rolling out a new version of its homepage next week.

While ostensibly a superficial change, a new homepage represents more than just a facelift for a company that has lost 75 percent of its market value over the past 52 weeks. As Zynga articulates in a blog post about the change, the company’s core business is creating games, and then serving the communities that develop around those games.

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Previously, the platform for the community side of this equation was Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Zynga’s early growth was a function of its ability to tap the social network, with the company deriving nearly 90 percent of revenues from the platform. At the same time, Facebook received nearly 15 percent of its income as fees from Zynga…

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