Laugh at the banalities of Farmville, Candy Crush, and Mafia Wars all you want; gaming on Facebook remains one of the service's most popular and profitable features.
Facebook recently said more than 250 million users play games on Facebook.com each month and more than 70 percent of Facebook users on the iPad have played a game in the last 90 days. That has translated to major money; $2 billion was paid out to Facebook game developers in 2012, and that's after Facebook took its cut. With that in mind, the social network is releasing a new version of its iPad app that focuses on a better gaming experience and easier accessibility to the app.
"We know people love to play games on tablets, and millions of people who use Facebook play games," says Dan Morris, head of North American games partnerships for Facebook to Polygon. "So we've made it even easier for people using Facebook to find and interact with content they love on the iPad.”
Here’s what the change will look like: iPad users who log onto Facebook will see a section called “My Games” on the right side of the newsfeed, below trending topics. Below My Games will be a section called “Popular Games,” which will measure what games the general Facebook community and a user's friends are playing most often and will suggest the user give those a try.
In a blog post announcing the update, Victor Medeiros, software engineer at Facebook, says over time Facebook will also “include ads where game developers can engage players.” The move is likely to entice more game developers with a more game-specific app design.
Targeted ads have been a hot topic on Facebook recently, as the social network recently rolled out more ad controls for users. Facebook users can now give feedback as to what ads are relevant to their lives.
In addition to the games update, Facebook announced the iPad app redesign includes the trending topics sidebar as well as a trending video sidebar.