Facebook quietly removed the game application directory at the bottom of its Games Dashboard last week, as Inside Social Games reader Josh pointed out. We asked Facebook why. The company says it is trying to “optimize performance” on the dashboard, and it is “exploring ways to most efficiently bring it back.”
No one seems to be holding their breath.
The dashboard was introduced with the home page redesign last February as a link on the left-hand home page navigation column. A counter on it will show you the number of new activities you have a in a social game. Click on the dashboard and you can see links to your latest social game activity, your friends’ activity, and the games your friends are playing. The point is to break games out separately from all other applications, which can otherwise be found immediately above, in the main Applications Dashboard in the navigation column.
The game directory, located at the bottom of the Games Dashboard page, was going to be another way for users and social games to find each other. It included game genre nomenclature like “board” and “virtual world” drawn from existing categorization in its app directory.
Maybe the directory will come back, but if the example of the application directory is illustrative, it might not — at least not in its current form. The directory previously appeared as a link at the bottom of a pop-up window in the bottom toolbar on Facebook. But that toolbar went away in the new redesign, and the directory is no longer linked to from anywhere on Facebook’s main interface. But it’s still alive, and if you’re a user who wants to go look for new types of social games in directory format, you can here — you can even sort by those game categories, like before.
Ultimately, Facebook doesn’t want to be in the directory business. It much rather wants to optimize its much better ways of sharing information, like its news feed.