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Facebook has launched a new cross-platform gaming service called Instant Games. This lets you play games on the main Facebook app, in your Facebook News Feed, or on Facebook Messenger. And, thanks to HTML5, this is all without the need to download any extra apps or plugins.
More than 1 billion people now use Facebook Messenger on a regular basis. They chat, share links, and send photos to each other. However, with the launch of Instant Games they can now also play a range of new and classic games right from within an existing conversation or group chat.
Starting a game is as simple as tapping on the controller icon within a conversation. You can then choose a game to play, and it will start right there in the app. When you finish a round, everyone else in the conversation will see your score and have the option to challenge you. You and your friends will even be able to compare scores on the leaderboard.
Even if you’re not in a Messenger conversation with anyone, you’ll be able to find and play these Instant Games via the Facebook News Feed. Because Instant Games are cross-platform and powered by HTML5, you’ll be able to play them across the apps and on the web.
Please, No More FarmVille Spam!
Most people probably remember the bad old days of gaming on Facebook, with people spamming each other for help getting anywhere on FarmVille and Mafia Wars. Hopefully Facebook has learned its lesson this time, and Instant Games will offer a fun diversion without the need to annoy anyone.
There are 17 Instant Games titles available at launch. This includes Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Puzzle Bobble, Hex, Everwing, Galaga, Track & Field 100 Meters, and Words With Friends Frenzy. All of which are worth playing for at least an afternoon.
Facebook is promising more titles, and more ways to play, in the future. For now, however, Instant Games on Messenger is being rolled out to users in 30 countries using newer versions of iOS and Android. Which, especially with regards to the latter, could exclude a lot of people.
Have you ever played games on Facebook? If so, were you the one sending me all that FarmVille spam? Will you be playing any of the new Instant Games? If so, which launch titles interest you? Please let us know in the comments below!