Sidestepping App Stores, Facebook Lite and Groups get Instant Games

HTML5 almost ruined Facebook by baking the mobile web standard to accelerate the development and slowed down the performance of the main iOS and Android applications of the social network. For a brief moment in 2011, Facebook even tried to build an HTML5 gaming platform with the code name of Sparta to escape the taxes of Apple's and Google's mobile operating systems. But at that time, HTML5 was not powerful enough for big games. Facebook finally abandoned HTML5, rebuilt applications natively and Facebook became one of the most powerful players on mobile devices.

Facebook is now giving HTML5 another opportunity to expand its Instant Games like Pac-Man and Words With Friends to the developing world through Facebook Lite, and to engage communities through Facebook Groups. With improvements in the processing power of smartphones and the underlying mobile browser application technology, HTML5 can now support agile and complex games like Everwing, shown below.

Instead of having to download separate applications for each game from the Apple App Store or Google Play, instant games start in a mobile browser. This keeps the size of the Facebook Lite file small for the benefit of international users with slow connections or limited data plans. And it allows Instant Games to integrate directly into groups so that it can challenge not only friends but also like-minded members to compete for the highest scores.

90 million people each month actively participate in 270,000 Facebook groups about games, and now you will see Instant Games in the Groups navigation bar next to the About and Discussion tabs. Facebook is also considering making games an option for non-gaming groups. In Facebook Lite, instant games will appear in the More sidebar so they are not too interrupted.

The expansion demonstrates the seriousness that Facebook has to become a gaming company again. In its desktop days, the game platform dominated by developers like Zynga accumulated tons of usage, virality and in-game payment revenue for Facebook. Those revenues decreased for years after the use of mobile devices began to dominate in 2014, but recently stabilized at around $ 190 million per quarter. Apparently, someone is still playing FarmVille.

Facebook launched Instant Games in late 2016 to give people something to do while waiting for friends to answer their messages. Almost at the same time, Facebook launched Gameroom, a desktop software center similar to Steam for mid-core players, although since then there has been less news about that product. Instant Games was launched around the world in mid-2017 and was opened to all developers in March of this year. Since then, the monetization options are being extended so that developers can make the creation of Instant Games a sustainable business. That includes making Instant Games compatible with playable Facebook ads that allow developers to attract News Feed users.

Actually, Facebook will not make money with purchases from the application in Instant Games on iOS where the IAP is not allowed. to the policies of Apple, or Android since he began to resign his court last month. However, it takes 30 percent on the desktop. But the biggest monetization game is found in ads where Facebook is a giant.

With Instant Games in Messenger, the Facebook desktop site and the main mobile application through bookmarks, its new independent game community application Fb.gg, and now Facebook Lite and Groups, the company reprioritises the space. That seems wise as the game becomes more popular thanks to the players who transmit their comments and phenomena like Fortnite. And with the expansion of Facebook to hardware with the Portal's smart screen and an upcoming TV decoder, it will have more places than ever before for people to play or watch others at the same time.