Facebook Messenger's new games upgrade now lets you compete against friends

Above Facebook Instant Games were played 1.5 billion times in 90

Above Facebook Instant Games were played 1.5 billion times in 90

Facebook has begun rolling out its Instant Games on Messenger to more of the 1.2bn people that use the platform every month - after initially rolling out the gaming service to 30 countries in November a year ago. Instant Games is now not only globally available, but it's opened to more developers with a new suite of APIs for to create richer gameplay. Not only that, several games will be adapting the rich gameplay features that Facebook introduced at the F8 conference.

"Rich gameplay" features keep players of turn-based games competitive with leaderboards and tournaments, flawless for titles like the ever popular "Words with Friends" and, new to the group, the hit 8 Ball Pool from Miniclip. When the Instant Games feature on Facebook Messenger first debuted in the United States in November 2016, it was an instant hit.

Playing games in Facebook Messenger is no longer a solo affair. To-date, more than 1 billion people have played Zynga's games across Web and mobile, including FarmVille, Zynga Poker, Words With Friends, Hit it Rich! Zynga's popular title arrives on Messenger with the ability to easily add players directly from their friends list, and uses a smaller board with fewer tiles for faster gameplay. Game bots, on the other hand, drive engagement by informing players of new game options for calling them back for another round.

Facebook says turn-based games were its most requested feature, and so it comes as little surprise that Words With Friends has joined the party. Facebook plans to add new games every week, including Miniclip's 8 Ball Pool.

Good news for all Facebook fans, as users can enjoy instant gaming along with chatting.

The move to improve Instant Games on Messenger is a direct response to Apple's own iMessage apps. Given the fidelity and demands of a game, it makes sense to start there as a big showcase as to how the technology can quickly get a big app up and running in a lightweight fashion. Depending on where you are and what device you're using, you can access up to 50 titles, with more coming every week.

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