The Inside Network team is currently in attendance of a Facebook event to announce new platform changes relating to games, affecting the news feed, requests, bookmarking and more. We’re live-blogging the event on Inside Facebook, so head over there if you want the stream. We’ve also written up a full preview on Inside Facebook (excepted below); for more on the changes, check back later for more coverage.
In the latest of Facebook’s ongoing efforts to reshape its developer platform, it is introducing big changes aimed at the most successful category of third-party applications to-date: social games and related applications.
Overall, the changes could hurt virality for many developers, even if they see increased engagement; Facebook also says that there is more help on the way to social game developers in the coming months, including a revamped infrastructure and new APIs.
Most importantly out of all the of the changes today, the company is altering how the news feed will work.
After the changes take effect, people who do not play games will no longer see news feed stories from friends who do play games — same goes for any other third-party app. Because news feed stories were a main way that people found games in the first place, we expect app virality to decrease as a result of this change. Facebook is clear about its rationale behind this: “Tens of millions of app wall posts are deleted every day by people who find them irrelevant. By surfacing relevant stories based on usage and discovery stories based on friends, we believe we’re providing the best user experience and building lasting and long term value.”