Facebook is now allowing all developers to create games for Instant Games, its HTML5 cross-platform gaming service, which allows users to play games on News Feed and Messenger without downloading additional applications or programs.
As part of this launch, Facebook’s Ads API (application-programming interface) is also now available for all developers, allowing them to integrate interstitial and rewarded video ads, powered by Audience Network, into their games.
In addition, developers have access to a variety of new features, designed to help them grow and monetize their games. For one, developers can use Facebook’s Monetization Manager to manage their games’ monetization and performance with Audience Network.
In a Facebook for Developers blog post, product manager Michael Weingert said, “Monetization Manager will help Instant Games developers maximize revenue with advanced optimization tools, simplify management of ad placements across apps and provide enhanced analytics functionality and deeper reporting. We also added Instant Games-specific reporting into Facebook Analytics to help developers understand and optimize the unique social contexts of the platform.”
Elsewhere, developers can use the Game Switch API to cross-promote their new games or game updates to their existing players on the Instant Games platform. Developers can also create deep links for sharing outside of Facebook and Messenger, which will send players directly to their games.
Finally, Weingert said Facebook will soon roll out the ability for developers to create user-acquisition ad campaigns that will take players directly into games after they click ads on Facebook.
As of this writing, nearly 200 games are available on the Instant Games platform, up from 70 last December.
Early Instant Games developer FRVR has found quick success on the service, as Facebook said one of the developer’s titles, Basketball FRVR, has been played more than 4.2 billion times to date, and it is on track to earn over seven digits in ad revenue annually.
Chris Benjaminsen, founder of FRVR, said, “As a game developer, it’s rare that you have an opportunity to reach more than 1 billion people the first day your game goes live. We knew an investment in Facebook’s Instant Games would pay off, and it certainly has. Facebook not only has massive reach, it has also been the gold standard in building tools that allow us to interact with players in relevant ways.”