Facebook added games to its Messenger app, enabling users to play from within conversations.
Titles available include Words with Friends, Pac-Man and Space Invaders, and they also work within the news feed of Facebook’s core app.
The games will be available for both iOS and Android device users and will first roll out to 30 countries. Currently, there are 17 available to play, with more in the pipeline.
Facebook calls the offering Instant Games, stating it “allows people to easily discover, share, and play games without having to install new apps”. It features score-based games, leader boards, and group thread conversations to challenge and compete against friends.
The ability to play games via the news feed delivers “a seamless cross-platform experience where people can discover new games through recommendations, posts, challenges, and the Facebook Pages of individual games”, it said.
From a developer’s point of view, Instant Games launched in closed beta and “opens up a unique opportunity for game developers to lower the friction for people to discover and instantly enjoy playing games without having to install new apps,” the social media giant said.
Facebook News Feed posts also include the “Instant Play” call-to-action to help drive distribution and discovery of new games.
According to Anatoly Ropotov, CEO at Game Insight, one of Facebook’s partners for the launch, the future of messaging apps is about “much more than just chat and video. Messaging apps are a platform now; a blank canvas with a billion users waiting to see what comes next”.
Meanwhile, Laurens Rutten, CEO of CoolGames, another partner, said “the flexibility of web-games integrated with the social strength of the Messenger and Facebook platform will allow for a whole new type of games”.
Last month rival Telegram also made gaming moves, launching a platform through which bots can be used to play games within chats.