Facebook Messenger’s Instant Games just got a serious upgrade
Playing games in Facebook Messenger is no longer a solo affair.
The company just announced a new upgrade to its Instant Games, the mini games you can play inside chats with friends. With the new update, Messenger will now support turn-based games.
That means instead of only being able to play games like Space Invaders by yourself, you can compete against friends either in turn-by-turn gameplay or in global leaderboards. Developers can now begin to add support for the new features to existing games.
Facebook also announced that new titles will be added to the app, including 8 Ball Pool (coming “very soon”) and Zynga’s Words With Friends, which is launching today on Messenger (because we all need yet another place to play Words With Friends, right?)
Facebook first previewed the new Instant Games features a few weeks ago at F8, but this is the first time the new “rich gameplay” features are starting to roll out.
Instant Games, which first launched in November, is also expanding to all of the messaging app’s users, worldwide. (It was previously only available in 30 countries.) There are a total of 50 games available on the platform, which gets its name from the quick loading time of the HTML5-based games.
Gaming inside Messenger may sound gimmicky, but it’s a common messaging feature in much of Asia. And Facebook says there is a demand for the feature in the U.S. too. The company has previously said the success of the somewhat hidden but super addicting basketball game it added to the app just over a year ago was what inspired a bigger gaming platform.