Facebook launched Instant Games for Messenger just over a year ago, offering 20 games at the start. Twelve months on and developers excited by the platform have been knocking out customized versions of their popular games, expanding the count to 70.
Celebrating Instant Games’ first birthday, the social networking giant on Thursday, December 7 unveiled several new features, the most notable of which is live-streaming for players “who love to share their play-throughs and engage in a little smack talk.”
It means that if you really must show off your skills, you can now broadcast your gameplay to friends and family in real time via Facebook Live.
To do so, all you have to do is tap the camera icon in the upper-right corner of the display while you’re playing a game, whether it’s EverWing, Pac-Man, Arkanoid, or one of the other 67 offerings.
Once selected, you can choose precisely who to broadcast to, and add a short description to get your viewers interested.
To begin the live-stream, press the “Start Live Video” button and you’re off. When you decide to end the broadcast, “the video will be published to your Page or profile so that fans and friends who missed it can watch at a later time,” Facebook explained on its website, adding that you can also remove it if you so choose.
While the live-streaming feature is available now, Facebook is also promising more for 2018, including the ability to play games alongside a video chat. The fun-sounding feature will kick off with Words With Friends, so instead of merely imagining your opponent’s face when you lay down a 100-point word that no one’s ever heard of, you’ll soon have the fun of seeing their reaction when they realize what you’ve done.
Finally, other goodies coming soon to Instant Games include the once wildly popular Angry Birds by Rovio Entertainment, with the Messenger version promising “an exciting new way to challenge friends.” Other incoming games include Sega’s Sonic Jump, Disney Tsum Tsum from Line, and a new casual puzzle game from GungHo Online, makers of the hit game Puzzle & Dragons.
Instant Games and the upcoming additional features are all part of Facebook’s ongoing efforts to drive engagement with Messenger as well as Facebook, ending the need to exit the platform to play games, or launch live-streams via other apps like Periscope. Integrating other Facebook features into Messenger like Facebook Live bolsters Facebook’s all-important ecosystem, boosting engagement to put more eyeballs on more ads and, you got it, generate even more revenue for Facebook.