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Facebook (FB) Offers Instant Games Feature on Messenger


Facebook Inc. FB has launched a new feature, Instant Games on both Facebook and Messenger platforms. The feature will be available on both Apple’s AAPL iOS platform and Alphabet’s GOOGL Android platform.

Reportedly, the feature has been rolled out in 30 countries and boasts 17 very popular game titles including Words With Friends, Pac Man and Space Invaders.

Per TheStreet, Instant Games is an HTML5 gaming solution, which at present is in closed beta mode and available only to certain select developers. For Instant Games, Facebook has collaborated with the likes of Bandai Namco, Konami, Zynga ZNGA as well as Activision Blizzard’s King Digital Entertainment. The report further adds that Facebook has no monetization strategy for this right now but eventually, the social media giant has said that it will give developers “monetization options” going ahead.

Monetizing Instant Games will help Facebook to boost its non-advertising revenues. In the last reported quarter, compared with 59% growth in advertising revenues, revenues from Payments and other fees decreased 3% year over year to $195 million. Reduction in payment revenues related to PC games was the primary factor. Further, management warned that the segment will face further decline as PCs lose market share.

Tech Crunch observes that Facebook was once the hub for social gaming but all that changed with the arrival of mobile games. Mobile games quickly dominated the social gaming scene. Facebook took a bad hit on the revenue front as in-game purchases floundered badly. Per Tech Crunch, during its peak, Facebook made about $250 million from in-game purchases.

The company is now taking several measures to boost its non-advertising revenues as well as attract users to spend more time on its platform. Facebook recently launched its own PC game platform called Gameroom to take on the likes of Steam.

At present Facebook carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of Facebook have been witnessing an upward trend on a year-to-date basis. The stock generated a return of 15.49% compared with the Zacks Computer-Software Services Industry’s gain of 4.00%.

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