Facebook announced the release of a new shared experience in its Messenger that lets users play games during video calls.
The social media giant said in a blog post that the move helps people “deep connections with friends and family by engaging in conversations and gameplay at the same time.”
There are 14 free-to-play games now available in Messenger video calls on iOS, Android and the web. No installation is required.
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The games include new titles like Card Wars by Bombay Play and Exploding Kittens by Coatsink, as well as Mini Golf FRVR by FRVR and Words With Friends by Zynga.
Each game supports a different number of people, but most games can be played with just two players.
To access the game, Messenger users should initiate a video call, tap the group mode button in the center and then hit the “Play” icon to browse through the game library.
“We know games are an important and fun way for people to connect with those they care about and make new friends, so we’ll be working to bring more free games to the platform this year,” Facebook said, encouraging interested developers who would like to integrate the feature into their games to reach out to their partner manager.
In an update last month, Facebook parent company Meta said it is testing the ability to access the Messenger inbox within the Facebook app.
“Another part of delivering the best experience to people using A.I. is to make it easier for people to share what they discover on Facebook via messaging, when, where and how it suits their needs, without needing to switch to another app,” it explained.
In addition, Meta noted that more people were turning to messaging as a way to build community.
“We started introducing community chats to some Facebook Groups last year as a way for people to connect more deeply with their online communities in real time around the topics they care about. And, the early results are promising,” it said. “Across Facebook and Messenger, we saw the number of people trying community chats increase by 50% in December 2022.”
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Over the coming year, Meta said that it will build more ways to integrate messaging features in Facebook.