Faced with a serious challenge from bringing games to Google+, Facebook is coming back with some changes that will allow developers to make their apps more engaging – and more in your face.
The goal is to keep developers excited about making games for Facebook, even though Google will offer perks, like a much lower reduction in in-game payouts.
Facebook says it’s the biggest set of changes to the Canvas – Facebook’s main web page – since Facebook launched. The changes were announced on the Facebook Developer Blog a few minutes ago and include the following:
- Larger apps — Developers will be able to make their apps fill the full height and width of the user’s web browser.
- Real-time updates — apps will be able to send a stream of real-time notifications in the form of a scrolling ticker to keep your friends alerted to your every move.
- Game stories — apps will be able to post alerts related to scores and achievements — for example, whenever you exceed your friend’s high score, the game could let the world know.
- More visible bookmarks — Links to apps will be available in a new panel that appears at the top right of every page on Facebook, so users can start and resume the game more easily.
It could be really annoying for users who don’t care what their friends are doing with games.
But Facebook has thought of that – a new ranking system for News Feeds will try to determine which apps are interesting to other users and which are boring, and bury or raise alerts accordingly.
These are all nice moves, but nothing revolutionary.
But Facebook doesn’t need to be revolutionary right now – with over 700 million users, compared to perhaps 20 million for Google+, social game developers have no choice but to keep thinking to Facebook first.