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Facebook adds new features to drive game discovery, engagement
Facebook adds new features to drive game discovery, engagement
January 31, 2012 | By Eric Caoili




Facebook recently made several changes meant to drive discovery and engagement for its social games, condensing and sharing the game activity of users' friends into a unified list populated on their news feeds.

These updates follow a number of changes the social network has made in recent months to help direct more users to games on its site, including the launch of Facebook Actions, which allows players to automatically share their specific social game activities with friends.

Many Facebook users have complained in the past that the viral methods developers have used to promote their games -- many of which Facebook has curtailed -- were annoyances that cluttered their social graphs with notices they had little interest in.

The site's new way of "enabling social discovery of games through [the] News Feed," which is taken from how it handles game lists in mobile feeds, seeks to avoid spamming users by grouping the list of games their friends are playing the most in a single list:


"These stories are designed to bring new users and significant re-engagement to games by encouraging users to discover games their friends are playing," explains Facebook's business development director Matt Wyndowe. "We will continue to refine the design of these stories based on performance."

Another update the company has introduced involves offering users the option to have their favorite titles, achievements, and other game-related items displayed on their personal Timelines. Facebook says this feature allows for "quick re-engagement for the user and discovery among friends."

The social network is also testing a new link to outstanding requests for games and apps, which reappears on the upper right corner of its home page. The link is meant to "increase the visibility of outstanding requests and is designed to drive more traffic to games and apps."

As it finds new ways for users to discover games, the company says one of its features, the live ticker that appears alongside games and apps, has "not been a substantial driver of traffic." It's now experimenting with removing the current version of the ticker. Facebook will discontinue App Profile Pages starting tomorrow, too.


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