- Facebook, the social network with more than 2 billion users worldwide, started testing a program on its Messenger chat platform to let game developers earn money from interstitial and rewarded video ads. The company also began initial testing of In-App Purchases, per a blog post.
- The Instant Games for Messenger platform will use demand from Audience Network to place ads in games such as Blackstorm’s Everwing and FRVR’s Basketball FRVR, per a blog post. The soft launch of Instant Games will let the company test and learn the best ways for developers to integrate ads that enhance game play while offering a path to monetization.
- Based on the results from the initial tests, Facebook plans to enable more developers to include ad placements in the coming weeks. Facebook also will create more developer tools for measurement and ad optimization. Instant Games is a closed beta platform for developer partners on Messenger for iOS, Android and News Feed.
Facebook clearly wants to build out its Instant Games for Messenger platform by giving developers monetary incentives to build games that will also give marketers a chance to reach an audience of engaged mobile users. Quick games and rewarded ads are both strategies that work well on mobile as users looking for easily consumed and entertaining content.
Facebook will take a cut of the ads shown in Messenger games that are routed from its Facebook Audience Network, TechCrunch reported. The ads will begin to appear in some games on iOS and Android, while in-app purchases will only start testing on Android, where Google Play takes a standard 30% cut.
As Facebook’s ad growth slows, the company is seeking additional ways to monetize its various platforms, such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, which was 1.3 billion users. The company’s desktop game platform has withered away while the App Store and Google Play have dominated mobile gaming.
Games are appealing to brand advertisers because their audiences are more engaged with an app than they are with more passive media such as television and radio. Not only do games have a younger demographic, but consumers are also happiest while playing mobile games. About three out of four people said they were in a good mood using a game app, compared with only 61% of those engaged with a non-gaming app, according to a survey this month by mobile ad platform AdColony.