Facebook is making a new gaming play. Once upon a time, the social network was a key game platform, but its revenues declines with the rise of the mobile development industry. Now, the company is y adding a feature called "Instant Games" to its Messenger messaging platform. The games all load quickly and are based on HTML5.
For now, Messenger offers only 17 games, but interested developers can apply to be part of the closed beta trials. Messenger games don't yet offer a way for developers to make money, but Facebook says that capability is coming. "Over time we’ll find ways for game developers to monetize," said David Marcus, who heads up the Messenger team at Facebook. "That’s our commitment to them in the new year."
In its most recent quarter, Facebook earned $196 million from games played on its platform.