Early this month, it was reported that Facebook was testing a way for people to play games on Messenger, which is seen as a ploy to make the users more engaged in the platform.
Well, the feature is now official. According to Facebook, Instant Games is “a new HTML5 cross-platform gaming experience on Messenger and Facebook NEws Feed for both mobile and web.” They aim to let people discover, share and play these games without the need to install any other apps.
According to the company, it is easy to play these games. When you open the conversation thread with a friend, you only need to tap on a game controller icon and choose a game. When you are done playing, the person will see your score and will therefore have the opportunity to beat your score.
You will be able to discover these games on Messenger and on the Facebook News Feed where you can decide to play alone or with friends. There will be leaderboards and in-context chat to discuss about the games. There is also a dedicated bookmark on Facebook where you will be able to view your favourite titles and be able to replay them.
Facebook is launching 17 titles which include one of my favourite retro games of all time (PAC-MAN) and also the likes of Words with Friends. Some of their developer partners include the likes of Konami, Zynga, King and the likes.
This comes at a time when Telegram also started their own HTML5 based gaming platform way back in October. This could mean that messaging apps are now encroaching on the dedicated gaming apps niche by offering in-app games that could make people switch loyalties.
The new feature is currently available in 30 countries to users who have the Android app (ver 5 or later) or the iOS app (ver. 8 or later.)