Short Bytes: Strengthening Messenger’s position as a platform, Facebook has launched HTML5-based games for its Messenger chat app and main mobile app. The users will be able to instantly play these games in conversations and News Feed. After the initial launch that covered 30 countries and 17 games, Instant Games have been globally launched. From next week, the iOS and Android users will be able to play Instant Games. (Updated on May 3, 2017)Apart from watching live videos of celebrities, posting pictures of your cat, ranting about your work life, do users you need one more thing to do on Facebook’s vast platform? It looks like Facebook has answered your prayers and decided to integrate video games into its mobile platforms.
In Facebook’s main mobile app and Messenger app, the users can access these Instant Games from News Feed and within conversations. Facebook hopes to bring some friendly competition in form of new Instant Games like Pac-Man, Words With Friends Frenzy, and Space Invaders.
As these games are built on the HTML5 mobile web standard, the users don’t need to download and install them on their mobile phones. Instead, they load within seconds and the users can start playing.
Facebook Instant Games have been initially launched in 30 countries for Android 5.0 or later and iOS 8.0 or later. The 30 countries are — Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, Canada, United States, Japan, Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Latvia, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, France, Singapore, Finland, Hong Kong, Russian Federation, Estonia, Taiwan, Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Cyprus, Israel, Lithuania, Spain, and Italy. (Update: Instant Games are now globally available)
Apart from the games from classic developers like Konami, Taito, and Namco, titles from the new developers like King and Zynga too have been included. It looks like, eventually, Facebook will make money from Instant Games by charging developers for promoting games and getting a portion of purchases. However, currently, there are no in-game purchases.
Facebook’s latest foray into gaming reminds me of company’s past dominance in desktop social gaming around 2008-2010 when it gathered tons of money. With a shift to the mobile platform, this money-making machine of Facebook has churned out these HTML5-based games with better graphics and gameplay.
Facebook has been already testing the gaming potential in Messenger. In the past, we’ve come across Messenger games like Basketball, which was play over 1.2 billion times, and Soccer. The new Instant Games endeavor is just an expansion of those little efforts.
Before the launch of Instant Games, recently, Facebook also unveiled Gameroom — a downloadable desktop app that feels like a casual competition to Steam.
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