Facebook’s Instant Games platform has been launched last month, and it will be offering a new feature for select games in which users will be able to video chat and play these games during a video call. Here are the details.
Facebook Messenger games complete its one year anniversary and in order to celebrate, the social network is introducing new games and new features to the Instant Games platform. Facebook has taken the stage to announce a couple of notable features for this platform, which includes support for live streaming via Facebook Live and video chatting with fellow gamers.
This idea with Instant Games is to boost people’s time spent in Messenger by giving them the opportunity to do besides just chat. It also serves as Facebook’s newest attempt to return to dominance in social gaming.
Otherwise, the company’s gaming platform years ago had earned a peak of a quarter-billion dollars per quarter on its 30% tax on in-game purchases, and it also leveraged Facebook’s network effects to help games go viral.
Did you know how Facebook became the world’s second top social website? Yes, because of online gaming, began with the Farmville, it grabbed almost the world’s attention to its social benefits. Apart from that, it also bought WhatsApp, later Instagram and now looking for more. But with the shift to mobile, Facebook’s position in gaming declined. These days, people spend more time gaming in native mobile apps built for iOS and Android devices.
This would be a reason why Facebook looking forward to grabbing the Instant Gamers attention now. When Instant Games first launched it offered only 20 games across 30 markets, including titles like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Words With Friends Frenzy. Now that number has grown to over 70 games from more than 100 developers worldwide, as per the company, including recently rolled out Tetris.
To be in the action, it will soon add other big names, like Angry Birds (built by CoolGames, who has built Tetris); Sonic Jump from SEGA; Disney Tsum Tsum, published by LINE’ and also a new game from Puzzle & Dragons maker, GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.
Instant Games platform makes it possible to play titles like Pac-Man in Messenger or on your News Feed and today it’s getting some significant updates. In order to mark its one-year anniversary, Facebook is also debuting a couple of new additions for its Instant Games: Live streaming and video chat.
Live streaming begins rolling out today, and the game titles to play will soon including Angry Birds and Sonic. Facebook also says that it’s starting to test video chat for select games so that you can see your friends while you play and even start up a new game from within a video call. With that said, the Messenger version of Words With Friends will be the first to utilize this feature early next year.
Over the next few months, Instant Games will see the additions of a handful of big-name mobile titles that will be “reimagined” for the platform. These additions in particular hints that well-known brands and mobile-style experiences are doing well on the platform.
How that it works?
The feature of live streaming is powered by Facebook Live, lets Messenger users broadcast their gameplay to their FB Page or Facebook Profile. To use live streaming, you have to just tap on the new camera icon at the top right of the screen while gaming, then adds a short description to be shared aside your post. If you want to record, to start recording, you press the “Start Live Video” button. That’s it!
The live broadcast is then shared on your Page or profile. When it ends, friends and fans can watch the fully saved recording. With this feature, Facebook is playing catch up rivals like Twitch, YouTube, and Microsoft, all of which today offer their own tools and services for live streaming games.
In Facebook’s case, however, the addition is more casual and more about sharing with friends, not monetizing a community through subscriptions, game sales, or custom chat icons, as you’d find on Twitch or YouTube, for instance.
The feature which Facebook says it will soon start testing will initially debut next year in Zynga’s Words with Friends, before expanding to other titles. The feature will also challenge other popular video chatting and hangout apps popular with teens and young adults, like Fam, the app for group video chat via iMessage, for example, or Microsoft’s Skype, among others.
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