Facebook Gaming are looking to up engagement with their Facebook Messenger service, adding 14 free games that can be played during video calls.
Minigames were already available to play through messenger, but these new titles are multiplayer and available through video calls. As they announced in a blog post, a small sample of the titles being added are: Card Wars (Bombay Play), Exploding Kittens (Coatsink), Mini Golf FRVR (FRVR) and Words With Friends (Zynga).
Facebook Gaming say, "We know games are an important and fun way for people to connect with those they care about and make new friends, so we'll be working to bring more free games to the platform this year."
More means for messenger?
It's no secret that Facebook's parent Meta has been struggling recently. With their proposed Horizon Worlds-based metaverse not taking off as they had hoped, layoffs occurring and usership down, it seems they're looking to add to the value proposition of many of their other services. Facebook is widely known for bringing people together as one of the first major social media channels, and is still widely used today both for the site itself but also for Messenger, its spun-off messaging platform.
Adding games to the service may give users a reason to consider Messenger not just for communication, but also for fun and socialising with friends. Open Messenger, send a message, have a chat… And perhaps stick around for a little longer. At least that's what the reasoning seems to be.
The move could also serve a dual purpose by encouraging developers that want to increase visibility of their titles to work with Facebook. As the blog also encourages, "Developers who are interested in integrating this feature into their games should reach out to their Partner Manager for details."
Although it's not clear what the benefit to developers would be, beyond visibility, it's clear that despite the demise of Facebook Gaming's standalone app, Meta aren't yet done using the allure of mobile games to support their flagship social media platform.