A new study from the NPD Group shows that 56.8 million consumers have played a game on a social network in the last three months. Marketers have already started to understand the value of this platform, with eMarketer reporting that companies will spend $220 million on ads in social games this year.

Now, Samsung is moving the market to the next level with the creation of Thr!ve On, a game that engages Facebook users while developing user-generated content for the company.

Thr!ve On is available through the Samsung Mobile Global Facebook page. The application lets social users build on Facebook activities – from uploading photos to updating statuses – by giving them a customized environment through the game where they can share information.

The game turns a common consumer behavior – updating Facebook – into a friendly competition. "Share just like always on Facebook and… collect medals and check the leaderboard to see who Thr!ves the most," Samsung explains on its Facebook page.

Samsung rewards consumers for their self-expression with the Thr!ve On points system, and it helps them easily sort their previous posts to track their online identities. At the same time, the game promotes the Samsung Galaxy S Android-powered smartphone, and the content generated by players becomes a testament to how consumers engage the brand.

Other marketers may want to follow suit and develop their own games for social users. According to a report from Nielsen, games are the second-leading internet activity among American consumers.