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Facebook Messenger launches Instant Games while you wait for your messages

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Messaging has now become more enjoyable with Facebook launching classic games.

On Tuesday, Facebook announced Instant Games, the social media’s most aggressive push into the world of gaming since FarmVille became popular years ago. Game makers can now make lightweight HTML5 versions of their titles playable on Messenger and Facebook’s News Feed. The company already signed on prominent game studios to participate in the closed beta, which includes Zynga and Konami.

According to Leo Olebe, Facebook’s director of games partnerships, it is partly a response to the high engagement the company saw with  soccer and basketball games it’s already tested in the Messenger app.

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“People have put games inside of messaging platforms before,” Olebe said to Business Insider. “Facebook has not. And it’s really exciting for us to do it in a way that can engage people on the Messenger platform.”

Facebook Messenger has a new gaming tab that will let people invite others to compete in score-based games and through leaderboards. A specific Instant Game tab will also exist on Facebook’s website. The social media network expects people to discover the games through recommendations from their friends in the News Feed.

Instant Games work on Facebook’s iPhone and Android apps and are available in 30 countries. The same games playable in Messenger are also playable in the main Facebook app and the News Feed.

List of Instant Games

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Facebook has seen a decline in gaming recently. Instant Games will represent “a resurgence and an awakening to the opportunity games” for them, according to Olebe. For now, gaming represents 15% of the time spent on the social media’s website. While Instant Games are not yet able to monetize with in-app purchases, it could contribute one day to the $2.5 billion business that games reaped on Facebook in 2015.

The company largely missed the transition of gaming from desktop PCs to smartphones in recent years. With Instant Games, Facebook hopes to regain lost ground, according to Tech Crunch.

“The total number of people in the world who now identify themselves as gamers have grown exponentially,” Olebe said. “We’re totally hip to that idea and we want to make it as easy as possible to engage with the games that they love.”

Video Courtesy: Josh Constine/YouTube

Photo Courtesy: Facebook

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