Facebook Instant Games Brings an Arcade to Messenger

Facebook really wants users to keep using their platform, and their latest motive to keep people locked is a rather interesting one. The company today is introducing Instant Games in a closed beta, a feature that brings (as of today) 17 games to both Messenger and your Facebook News Feed that can be played by yourself or with friends.

Messenger just got way more fun — or competitive — depending on how you look at it, with the ability to play games right in your messaging conversations. So when you’re looking for a reason to connect with your best friend who lives on the other side of the world, you can kick off a round of Words with Friends: Frenzy; or try again to beat your roommate at PAC-MAN just once; and of course, you always have time to challenge your brother to EverWing, SPACE INVADERS, TRACK & FIELD 100M, Galaga, and many other Instant Games.

By implementing HTML5-based games into Messenger and your News Feed, Facebook allows users to play 17 different titles all without downloading any extra data. Both web and mobile users can take advantage of Instant Games, so no matter which platform you’re currently on, Facebook wants to make sure you can still play.


Developers such as Bandai Namco, Konami, and Taito are all currently included in the 17 titles available for gameplay, while a full list of said titles can be found below for your reference.


Implementation of Instant Games will be simple: users will have access to a game controller button right from within Messenger and their News Feed which can be tapped/clicked at any time to start up a game between themselves and their friends. No fancy command will need to be punched in and you’ll never have to leave the screen you’re in.

In addition, game discovery can be accomplished via your friends and other methods. More info can be found below.

We’ve made it very simple to start playing: In the latest version of the app, open a conversation with a friend (or friends!), tap on the game controller icon just below where you type your message, and choose a game to start playing right away. After you finish a round, people in the conversation will see your score and will have the opportunity to challenge you back. People can also discover games within the Messenger search field, or on Facebook News Feed where they can play solo or challenge friends back in Messenger. Games on Messenger are the first to be rolled out on Facebook’s new Instant Games cross-platform gaming experience.

This new feature is all about attracting more users to use Facebook’s platform each day and enjoy it. Back in March for March Madness, the company implemented a hidden basketball game in Messenger which, in total, had 1.2 billion players. Building on top of it’s success, Facebook hopes to make their platform seem more enjoyable and hopefully increase the time users are on it.

Instant Games may also be a target for a younger audience. It’s been shown that a lot of older folks tend to still use Facebook, while other social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have the attention of the younger crowd. Therefore, it looks like Facebook is trying to up their game and attempt to create an environment that’s enjoyable for everyone.

Of course, Facebook may just be trying to create an overall fun environment for their existing users, but I feel a bit more strongly about the hypotheses listed above.

For now, not many folks can try out Instant Games since, as aforementioned, the feature is currently in a closed beta stage. However, when the feature launches, it’ll roll out to 30 countries on “newer versions” of iOS and Android.