- Facebook is testing an Instant Games platform for its Messenger app, according to the International Business Times.
- The lightweight game platform will allow users to challenge friends within Messenger, and offers Facebook a way to both drive engagement with its platform and potentially earn a cut of revenue from in-app purchases.
- Facebook is reportedly testing Instant Games in New Zealand, but has yet to make any formal announcements about it. IBT reports that developers like King.com, the company behind Candy Crush, and Big Viking are already trying out the service.
Facebook continues to be proactive in making Messenger more than just a chat service following the introduction of thousands of branded bots to facilitate customer service and in-app payments in the spring. Mobile games present an opportunity for brands to strengthen engagement, providing an experience that holds users' attentions, is fun to play and can become a total time sink.
Gaming is also a way to extend the life of already successful campaigns: Chipotle introduced a gaming app tied to its hit "A Love Story" short film last month. Efforts like that translated to Messenger could connect with Facebook's enormous mobile-only audience, which surpassed 1 billion daily active users in Q3.
Instant Games also might open a significant revenue stream for Facebook. Offerings like King.com's Candy Crush thrive off of in-app purchases and a "freemium" content model, so Messenger possibly taking a cut of those micro-transactions would be a smart play for the social media giant.