Facebook is looking to games again to drive revenue as it puts Instant Games front and center.
It’s been a while since Facebook basically created the “social games” category with titles like Farmville and the like.
These days, Facebook tends to push its massive base of users to outside apps for gaming, or to its own separate Facebook Gameroom app.
That’s all going to change, as Facebook announced Tuesday a new initiative: Instant Games. Rolling out to 30 countries on all newer iOS and Android devices, Instant Games puts 17 games into your News Feed as well as Messenger. You’ll no longer have to dig around to find games, as they’ll appear right up front. Games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, EverWing, Track & Field 100M, Galaga, and a few more like Words with Friends will launch directly from your Messenger app or feed as HTML-powered games.
Facebook seems to be taking its cue from Apple’s recent move into Messages games and apps, as people spend more time in messaging apps than anything else.
Facebook brings a killer feature to the table, however: cross-platform play. That way, you’ll be able to play with buddies whether they’re rocking the latest iPhone or a new Android handset.
As games make up the biggest revenue stream for both developers and platforms, it’s not super surprising that Facebook wants to push this to the front of the queue, so to speak.
Facebook explains how it will all work:
We’ve made it very simple to start playing: In the latest version of the app, open a conversation with a friend (or friends!), tap on the game controller icon just below where you type your message, and choose a game to start playing right away. After you finish a round, people in the conversation will see your score and will have the opportunity to challenge you back. People can also discover games within the Messenger search field, or on Facebook News Feed where they can play solo or challenge friends back in Messenger.- Facebook
Putting its more than 1 billion Messenger users in touch with quick, easy-to-access, cross-platform gaming content may be a fantastic move for Facebook, but it remains to be seen if it will annoy consumers or not. What do you think? Are you ready for a new onslaught of game-themed content in your Messenger and News Feed?