When it comes to gaming, the brands that come to mind are Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, with their Playstation, Wii and Xbox 360. They have been on the console market for a long time and have earned huge sums of money by selling their software and hardware to your kids, nephews and even you. But, there’s a new kid in town.

Facebook has become a game platform of a brand new type of gaming: Social Gaming. Two big differences between Facebook and the other game companies are 1) Facebook doesn’t charge for people to play, instead giving you the option to purchase credits so you can have that edge over your friends, and 2) you have the ability to play with your friends on the social network, without the need to buy a console or paying for online gameplay (like Xbox’s LIVE).

53% of Facebook users play games on a daily basis. 69% of the total gamers are women. 19% of the 56 million people who play daily say they’re addicted to social gaming. 20%, or 50 million people, have paid in cash for in-game benefits, which means this is a market that game companies should be looking at. An astonishing 290 million people play games on Facebook monthly on social networks, amounting to approximately the population of the United States.

The numbers are in and it’s only the beginning. There is no question that Facebook is changing the face of online and digital gaming.

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