New Facebook iPad app emphasizes games and trending videos

Facebook is pretty sure that if you’re using its iPad app, you’re probably playing a mobile game or two. The social network just revamped its iPad app to include a handy sidebar with all your favorite games and suggestions of other games or trending videos to check out later. Facebook hopes to capitalize on its users’ growing interest in mobile games and trending content to encourage more third-party apps to consider integration into the social network.

In a blog post announcing the iPad update, Facebook said that 70 percent of iPad app users played Facebook-connected games within the past 90 days. As such, the company wants to make it easier for users to see notifications from their favorite games and discover new ones based on recommendations from Facebook. The social network will suggest games to users based on their gaming history, the games their friends play, and what’s already popular among the Facebook population at large. All this information and more will automatically pop into a sidebar located on the right of the iPad app when you’re holding the tablet in landscape mode.

Not only does Facebook hope to get more people using games on its iPad app, it also clearly wants mobile game developers to get involved in the social network. If the new ploy works, Facebook could get a whole lot of money from mobile game advertisements, too.

The update also added two more sections to the sidebar, including trending news and topics, as well as trending videos. Each topic comes with a short description of why it’s so popular and as you click on each topic, you’ll see links to a major news story on the topic, your friends’ reactions, and other articles. The trending videos section links you up with wherever the video is from – usually YouTube – and that’s it.

So far, the update is available for select users of the Facebook iPad app in the United States. The social network plans to send its experimental update to more users in the U.S. and other countries soon.

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