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One of the major things Facebook announced during its F8 conference back in March was its Messenger platform, allowing developers to create apps for use within Messenger. The initial batch of apps have largely centered on communication (think emojis, sound clips, gifs and so forth) but now we're hearing that the social network is interested in expanding the platform's capabilities to include games.
The first bundle of apps for Messenger hasn't generated the traction that Facebook was hoping for. Worse yet, multiple third-party developers have reported having a difficult time raising awareness about their Messenger apps. Facebook's gaming initiative is largely centered on trying to alleviate these two issues although talks are still in early stages.
Facebook knows a thing or two about social gaming. Much of the company's traffic during its rise to prominence in the mid to late-2000s can be credited to browser-based "social" games with companies such as Zynga owing their entire existence to the genre.
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets, however, led to a sharp rise in mobile gaming. Many social gamers abandoned hits like FarmVille and Mafia Wars in favor of mobile titles that were much more convenient to play on the go.
Facebook's Messenger gaming initiative would essentially combine the best of both worlds. With more than 600 million people already using Messenger combined with the proven success of mobile gaming, it's hard to see how the endeavor could fail.
Image from Bloomberg via The Information