Facebook to drop mobile bookmarks for all apps except cross-platform games

Facebook will no longer display mobile bookmarks for apps unless they are games that function on both mobile devices and the desktop canvas, according to a post on the company’s developer blog.

Bookmarks were likely not driving much traffic to most mobile apps so it wasn’t necessary to keep them around. However, Facebook wants to promote cross-platform game development so it will give them the benefit of mobile bookmarks. With fewer apps being included in the bookmarks menu, the few cross-platform games that do appear there could see more traffic than they were before.

The change goes into effect June 5.

Facebook introduced mobile bookmarks in 2011, along with other features to improve distribution for HTML5 and native iOS apps. Android support came later. As we pointed out at launch, app bookmarks are buried a layer deep in the Facebook app, so there wasn’t much reason for users to launch apps this way instead of directly from their phone. The primary way mobile apps get installs and re-engagement from Facebook is through News Feed. Now with mobile app install ads and more engaging Open Graph stories, developers have more effective ways to drive people to their games and apps.

Facebook said in its blog post:

“This is not a breaking change, as no code changes are necessary, but we wanted to give developers time to consider alternative ways to reengage users. News Feed remains the top driver of discovery and re-engagement for mobile apps and we are focused on making this the best experience available across mobile and web. You can learn about our other mobile channels here.”