Finally putting an end to all rumors and speculations, Facebook has today debuted a cross-platform gaming experience on Messenger and an unexpected but rife avenue — the News Feed. This gaming platform, which has been christened ‘Instant Games,’ will enable the users of the social network to discover and play HTML5 games without having to install any new apps.
The introduction of Instant Games on Messenger, the company believes, will give its users another reason to spend more time within their billion-user-strong messaging app. Since people will have the freedom to choose to play these games on the Messenger mobile app or in the news feed itself, thus, it has been referred to as cross-platform in the official blog post.
The social media giant is starting off with a collection of 17 familiar titles, including PacMan and Space Invaders. The users can easily access these titles from the new ‘game controller’ icon which has been added to the options menu at the bottom of the chat window. And for those trying to access the mini-games on the web, Facebook has added a dedicated Instant Games bookmark to view as well as replay your games from the platform.
The official statement for the release of Instant Games reads:
[It] offers a fun and social experience featuring score-based games, leaderboards, and group thread conversations to challenge and compete against anyone on Messenger.
With this humongous step, Facebook has taken the first step to finally make Messenger a more fun and social hangout destination for users. It has expanded the scope of the platform beyond the chatbots which are now becoming ever ubiquitous. Playing a game within the message window might seem finicky but the experience isn’t as bad as expected by some analysts and reporters.
The company has made the discovery of new Instant Games so much simpler by using the in-use algorithms to display recommendations, posts, challenges for the same. Users also have the option to navigate to the Facebook Pages of every individual game to play and challenge their buddies for a one-on-one competition within Messenger. News Feed posts also include the “Instant Play” call-to-action to help drive distribution and discovery of new games.
They now have the option to simultaneously tackle the same challenges in the game to score the highest and secure a spot on the leaderboard — not sure if it’s different for each conversation. The users also have the option to share their scores with the person they’ve previously had a bought within that particular game.
The company has released seventeen popular arcade, action, and modern games to woo users to try out the service. These include the oh-so-popular and renowned PacMan, Galaga, Track and Field, Endless Lake, Words with Friends, 2020 Connect, among others. Facebook has opened the said platform to developers in closed beta and is expecting them to build web-based games to reach over 1.79 billion users. Some of its prominent (launch) developer partners include Konami, Zynga, GameInsight, King, Big Viking and many more.
Starting today, Instant Games on Messenger and the web is available in 30 countries. Users can now access these games and challenge their friends or frenemies to a battle, using both Android and iOS devices.