Facebook said at its F8 2019 developers conference in May that it would make the social network’s Gaming tab the primary home of Instant Games in the future. The social network revealed more details about this transition this week.
In a Facebook Gaming blog post, Leo Olebe, global director of games partnerships at Facebook, said the social network had recently begun moving Instant Games play sessions away from Messenger and onto Facebook and the Facebook Gaming tab.
Later this summer, users will no longer be able to play Instant Games within the new version of Messenger on iOS devices. Messenger users will still see information about their games in their conversations, but when they go to play a game, their device will switch them over to the Facebook application to do so.
Olebe said, “This month, we’ll start collecting insights and feedback from the community. Our goal is to minimize disruptions to both developers and players and maintain overall game health as we begin the migration. We’ll notify players and guide them through the steps to enjoy Instant Games on Facebook, and we’ll continue to share more details on platform transitions and timelines with developers, as well. For both players and developers, the Facebook Gaming tab will become the primary home for Instant Games within the Facebook family of apps.”
In addition, Facebook will make changes to the application process for developers that wish to publish their games on Instant Games. Previously, developers could submit their games for review prior to completing a business verification process and providing their Apple developer team ID. With this change, developers will be required to complete these steps and have their application approved before being able to submit Instant Games to Facebook for review.
Any existing developers on the Instant Games platform won’t have to reapply. This change is only for new developers, or any developers who have been removed from the platform.
Facebook introduced its Instant Games platform in closed beta in November 2016, and it was opened up to all users worldwide in May 2017. All developers were allowed to create games for the platform starting in March 2018.