The folks over at Facebook have been rolling out tons new features to make the site more interactive and entertaining over the last year. When the Instant Games feature on Facebook Messenger first debuted in the United States in Nov. 2016, it was an instant hit. Just to help you wrap your head around how big of a hit it was, consider these numbers: there are 1.2 billion people who use Messenger every month, and of of those people, more than 1.5 billion games have been played — within just the last 90 days! So yeah, Facebook was definitely on to something by tapping into a user base that was looking for better online gaming options and was very happy with what Facebook was offering.
The problem with online gaming had never been that people weren't interested in it — it's always been hugely popular. It was just that the average person on the go is not interested in being redirected to an app store, having to download something that takes up precious storage space and then deal with creating an account and loads of set up. That whole process was a headache and was taking the fun out of gaming — which is not supposed to be difficult to use. So when Facebook's Instant Games feature eliminated a need to even leave the app to play games, people were like, "YAAAS." Thank god for HTML5.
So now, they've decided to bring the feature to the rest of the world. Instant Games is now not only globally available, but it's opened to more developers with a new suite of APIs for to create richer gameplay. Now available for developers to work with are features like: Connect Player, Choose Context, Sharing, and Customized APIs. So what that means is that developers can now build the kind of games that can accommodate tournaments, add in players through threads, make engagement stories with game bots, and create internal game messaging systems. Once developers are able to take advantage of these new capabilities, we'll get much more dynamic and engaging gaming experiences as a result.
And changes within the feature are not just outside of the U.S. As of May 2, Messenger is expanding to include rich gameplay features as seen with Words With Friends. As one of the first games to take advantage of the new rich gameplay features, it will be available as a feature-rich, turn-based game right in Messenger. Additionally, a new version of EverWing will also be among the first games to use game bots. And, #1 Pool Game / Miniclips 8 Ball Pool will be launching on Instant Games very soon. So if you haven't given Instant Games a try, now's the time. It's only getting better.