Facebook Upgrades Games And Tests Mobile Updates

By David Cohen Comment

Facebook is getting serious about its games, announcing category updates, more bookmarks, a combined dashboard for applications and games, and testing game stories on its mobile platform.

The “other” category is history, but the social network added new categories for casino, family, sports, strategy, and words.

In addition, role playing is now labeled adventure, and virtual world is now called simulation.

Developers can edit the settings for their games via the developer app.

Game canvas pages now feature six bookmarks, up from four, which Facebook said has increased referrals by 20 percent.

Bookmark counters now clear automatically once clicked, similar to notifications, giving players a better idea of when actions are pending.

The new apps and games dashboard will allow users to see all requests and invites in a single location, and will allow developers to highlight new games.

Invites appear at the top of the dashboard for users, and its top apps section features apps and games their friends are using the most.

On the mobile front, the social network is testing game stories to see if they help drive traffic from mobile devices to games.

Sister blog Inside Facebook believes Facebook is looking to boost engagement for cross-platform games via its HTML5 platform, adding that both gamers and non-gamers will see game stories.

Facebook will prevent users from being bombarded by game spam by posting aggregated stories, about several users playing games, rather than individual stories. Developers can track referrals to games from game stories on users’ mobile feeds.

Finally, Facebook created a games tutorial for developers, offering tips, best practices, and monetization strategies.

Readers: Have you noticed any game stories in your mobile Facebook news feeds?