Facebook Messenger already gives users the ability to make video calls, and soon they might be able to play games, too. Facebook has confirmed that it’s speaking with developers to make games for Messenger.
Ilya Sukhar, an executive at Facebook leading the product side for Messenger’s platform, confirmed the discussions but did not give any date on when they might roll out.
Although there aren’t many details about Facebook’s gaming initiative, Games for Messenger makes a lot of sense and could be extremely valuable to Facebook. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Americans waste about 40 minutes every day on Facebook. Adding games to Messenger would be a way to get more revenue. Even if users don’t end up playing games for very long on Messenger, it’s more time spent on the app.
It was just last year that Facebook turned Messenger into a standalone app. If Facebook users want to send messages to one another on the social network over their smartphones, it’s a mandatory download. Messenger is accessed through the company’s website on PCs and Macs.
Back in March, Facebook began letting third parties to tap into Messenger, but so far partners have been tools for adding .gif images or stickers, rather than games. Some of Facebook’s early launch partners included JibJab, Giphy, ESPN and the Weather Channel.
Adding third-party apps to Messenger could be a way for Facebook to compete against the App Store and Google Play Store, especially if users could recommend other apps directly from Messenger.
Overall, Facebook wants the messenger to be engaging user experience.