Facebook Is Rolling Out Instant Games for Messenger to All 1.2 Billion of the App’s Users

Zynga’s Words With Friends is one of the first games to jump on board

Facebook announced Tuesday that it began rolling out Instant Games to all of Facebook Messenger’s 1.2 billion-plus monthly active users, adding that the rich gameplay features it discussed at its F8 developers conference are being introduced, as well.

The social network launched Instant Games last November in 30 countries for iOS version 8 or later and Android version 5 or later, describing it as an HTML5 cross-platform gaming experience for Messenger and News Feed on both mobile and the web.

Product manager for Messenger Andrea Vaccari announced in a Newsroom post that Instant Games for Messenger will roll out worldwide for iOS and Android “over the next few weeks.”

During F8 last month, engineering manager Calvin Grunewald described the rich gameplay features that are coming to Instant Games in a blog post:

At F8, we introduced rich gameplay features to give developers more control of the gaming experiences they create. Developers can customize their own start and end screens and integrate new APIs (application-programming interfaces) that can help drive share and connected gameplay. Rich gameplay features are laying the groundwork to support a wider variety of games that extend beyond the lightweight, score-based games currently offered on the platform.

Vaccari provided more details in her post Tuesday:

Rich gameplay features such as turn-based games (our most requested feature) can also weave in leaderboards and tournaments and offer more visually engaging and customizable game messages during play. Game bots help re-engage players by calling out new game options and encouraging competition with updates on the leaderboards.

Zynga’s Words With Friends is one of the first games to jump on board, and it is currently available in Messenger as a “feature-rich, turn-based game,” Vaccari announced.

Next up, according to Vaccari:

People will begin to see new features as game developers start to incorporate the new capabilities with one of Instant Games on Messenger’s biggest hits, Blackstorm’s EverWing, being among the first to use game bots. Depending on what device you use and where you are located, there are now up to 50 games titles available on Messenger, with more being introduced almost every week.

We’re also excited to be bringing the world’s No. 1 pool game—Miniclip’s 8 Ball Pool—to Instant Games very soon.

Vice president of messaging products David Marcus chimed in with a Facebook post:

Ever since we launched Instant Games on the platform late last year, I’ve loved playing my favorites with my friends. Today, games on Messenger are getting even better. We’re rolling out the ability to play turn-by-turn games, like Words With Friends or 8 Ball Pool, as well as enabling developers to build games bots that will make games even more social. Today, we’re also unveiling nearly 50 new games and making games available globally. Game on!