Clicks of the Facebook Games Ticker Now Reveal Popovers That Could Hurt Growth

Facebook’s status popover box has been added to the games live ticker app for what could be additional virality — or additional clicks between player and game.

The popover feature was part of the news feed’s Ticker added to Facebook during the f8 conference. When mousing over the stories in the Ticker, a popup window appears next to the story — from which the user can view the story in greater detail, and Like or comment on the activity. The idea here is to show users abbreviated stories about a large volume of content, and allow them to mouse over to view the full story and leave feedback without losing their place on the site.

Until today, we hadn’t seen the popover feature added to the Games Ticker, which was introduced back in August with updates to Canvas Page and new APIs. The idea behind the Games Ticker is to encourage social discovery of new games and reduce the friction of joining a new game. Before the popover, players would see stories in the Games Ticker on a game’s Canvas Page and if they clicked, they’d immediately be taken directly to that game.

With the popover in place, a new layer of viral sharing occurs around social games where players can comment on each other’s games stories without leaving their active game. This is because Likes and comments can get a game activity story promoted to appear on the home page’s news feed.

However, the popovers may lead to fewer installs for social games in the long run because players get a second chance to reconsider before being brought to a new game. Additionally, players may feel as though they “participated” in the story by the act of commenting or Liking without ever having to click the story that would take them to the game. To that point, those who do click through will probably be more likely to become engaged players.