Last week, Facebook announced a new feature, which enables users to try out games straight from the News Feed. The new Feed Gaming is part of the social media giant’s effort to improve game discovery. In addition, this allows developers to create a short demo of their games that users can play whenever it is mentioned in the News Feed and Timeline.
The Good Side of Game Demos on Facebook
The good thing about this feature is that it doesn’t collect data, and it doesn’t require users to authorize an app. This creates a risk-free environment for the player to test a game before committing to it. Once the sample is complete, they will be prompted to play the game’s full version.
King’s Bubble Witch Saga, Angry Birds Friends by Rovio, Tetris Online’s Tetris Battle and Idle Worship by Idle Games are now using Facebook’s Feed Gaming. Demos have been a reliable tactic in the gaming industry when it comes to building the word-of-mouth hype. This also lets developers test the effectiveness of various game samples, images and copy in their feed stories. In turn, they can leverage in-feed gaming to create engaging stories for users.
Using the Word-of-Mouth Hype in Feed Gaming
As mentioned earlier, demos are reliable tactics when building hype for a particular game. In the case of Facebook’s Feed Gaming, this involves publishing a News Feed story on behalf of the user with an attached Flash object.
When a user’s friend sees this post, they will be given an option to play the game inline. This gives way for interesting scenarios for a game’s embeddable version. Being able to post a game preview on a user’s Timeline, developers can encourage other players to click-through their canvass app.
Other than publishing a game preview, game developers can also opt in to do the following:
- Publish high scores on a game’s particular level and challenge the user‘s friends to beat it.
- Post a replay of an interesting game activity so that other users can see how to complete a level.
- Create an embeddable mini-game that could encourage users to play the full version.
However, any users who are interacting to the game demo will be anonymous. This means that game devs will find it impossible to monitor whether a user has previously installed the game or not. Thus, they will have to consider making a Facebook game that would be useful for both new and existing players.