Facebook has introduced that it’s rolling out Instant Games on Messenger to all users, while they are also adding in new games and features, in line with what they announced last month at F8 developer conference.
FB unveiled Instant Games last November, including the addition of a new tab in the app to connect you to the Messenger games experience.
If you did not get access to the Messenger arcade as part of the initial rollout, you now will, while the new tools will make the selection more addictive, and more conducive to social sharing.
The main addition is turn-based gameplay – their requested games feature. When Instant Games was first rolled out, the only way you can challenge friends was by posting your score and prompting them to try & beat it. The addition of turn-based play adds a new, interactive element, and they are rolling it out via one of the most popular game apps – Zynga’s ‘Words With Friends’.
Remember when everyone was playing ‘Word With Friends’ a few years back. Now it is coming to Messenger, and given its past success, the turn-based option could no doubt prove popular.
Facebook’s adding game bots which will be able to communicate with players about new levels / rewards via Message.
And additional games are being added– as per Facebook:
“Depending on what device you use and where you’re located, there are now up to 50 games titles available on Messenger, with more being introduced every week. We’re excited to be bringing the world’s #1 pool game — Miniclip’s 8 Ball Pool — to Instant Games.”
Why games on Messenger?
Gaming was once a solid earner for FB. Back in 2008, Zuck & Co were generating $1 million per year from in-game purchases alone, but the shift to mobile saw FB lose ground, with games like Angry Birds & Clash of Clans taking over much of that casual gaming market. FB’s never been able to develop their own mobile games approach – Messenger games is the latest attempt to change that, and given the app’s used by 1.2 billion people every month, and has been a key communications platform for many, the quick, competitive nature of Instant Games seems like a good fit, with the new competitive play options.
And if you are wondering whether people are even interested in playing games in Messenger, Facebook’s test of a simple basketball game within Messenger was played more than 1.2 billion times, well more than they would anticipated.
Instant Games offers no ads / in-game purchasing options (though no doubt that is the next stage), but as noted by TechCrunch, there’re marketing opportunities in sponsored games, like the addition of LEGO Batman ‘Bat Climb’.
That is obviously a more high-end option, but Facebook may look to provide more simplified game creation tools & options in future, if the Messenger gaming proves popular, similar to what they are doing with their new AR platform.
Given the popularity of past games, and widening use-case for Messenger, the addition of new games tools makes sense, and it will be interesting to see what the take-up is like, whether users warm to the new game options – to consider the potential implications of that down the line.