Facebook adds new features to Messenger games
Facebook (FB) has recently added two new features to its gaming platform, Instant Games, in an attempt to strengthen its position in social gaming. The new features provide gamers with support while live streaming via Facebook Live and video chatting in Messenger. With the live streaming feature, Facebook is seeking to catch up to rivals Twitch, Alphabet’s (GOOGL) YouTube, and Microsoft (MSFT), which also offer services for live streaming gamers.
Facebook focuses on social gaming
In November 2016, Facebook launched Instant Games in its Messenger chat app for people to spend time gaming with friends in addition to chatting. Initially, it offered 20 games, including titles such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders, across 30 markets. While the gaming platform currently provides over 70 games from more than 100 developers worldwide, the company plans to soon add Angry Birds, Sonic Jump, and Disney Tsum Tsum, among others.
Notably, Facebook had a dominant position in the social gaming world before the shift to mobile. The rapid growth in smartphones and gaming apps built for iOS and Android devices has pulled users’ focus to their phones. Therefore, Facebook is making efforts to reclaim its dominance in the gaming industry.
Facebook in the social media space
According to eMarketer, Facebook will continue to lead the social media space, at least through 2020. In 2016, 162.9 million US (SPY) Internet users utilized Facebook at least once a month. Placing a distant second, Facebook-owned Instagram had 89.4 million US users in 2016. Twitter (TWTR), with 56.8 million users, was the third-most-used social network in 2016.