Facebook Instant Games helps you waste more time

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I think most people would agree, it is so hard to waste time on Facebook.

Well, the social media giant must understand our plight, because it just introduced a new way to spend even more time on the social network with Facebook Instant Games. Now, you only have to leave Facebook to eat, sleep and work. 

In IT Blogwatch, we avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde.

So what exactly is going on? Derrek Rosignol has the background:

Facebook has never been a stranger to gaming...Now, though, Facebook is making a...concerted effort to make the site a destination for quick, casual gaming, and they’re bringing in some classic heavy-hitters to help with the effort.
The company introduced Facebook Instant Games, an HTML5-based gaming platform that will allow users to play...games in Facebook’s messenger and...news feed...It’s also a cross-platform service, meaning that users on mobile and desktop versions of Facebook can play nice with each other.

What games are available? Alexandra Burlacu lists a few options:

Instant Games...is launching as a closed beta for now, offering 17 games at launch. Available titles include Words With Friends, Galaga, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Zookeper, Arkanoid, Puzzle Bobble and more.
The new gaming experience has started rolling out in 30 countries...available on the latest Android and iOS versions.

But surely users have to download something to play, right? Emily Price sets the record straight:

Available in both Messenger and your Facebook News Feed, the...games can load in just 5-10 seconds...with no need to download anything or point your browser to a new site. You can even play right in Messenger in the same window where you were bragging about your fantastic Galaga skills moments before.

All this is well and good, but how do you actually play? Jason Imms has the details:

Players tap on the controller icon in a chat conversation, and...choose from a list of games. Once a game is selected, it’s loaded and the fellow chat participant is challenged to beat your...score.
Once you’ve played your round...your high score is shared with the other chat participants, and you can draw over a screenshot of the leaderboard to taunt your friends.

Sounds simple enough? So what is Facebook's endgame (get it?) here? I mean, besides keeping users on Facebook services for even longer? Facebook's Andrea Vaccari tells us herself:

The 1 billion people who use Messenger every month connect, banter and share...by sending Stickers when words aren’t enough, tapping on Instant Video to share smiles with Mom after an awesome day, or making a quick voice call to let friends know they’re running late. Now they can connect and compete over their favorite games...this is just the beginning for games on Messenger — look for new titles to be added, and for new ways to play. Game on!

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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