Facebook could cash in from Messenger games

Facebook is reportedly working with game developers to offer their apps in Messenger

Facebook's Messenger app across devices, as pictured on July 28, 2014.

Facebook's Messenger app across devices, as pictured on July 28, 2014.

Facebook is said to be eyeing games for its mobile Messenger product, a move that might jump-start the revenue the company generates from non-advertising sources.

Facebook is in talks with gaming developers to incorporate or tie their apps in some way into Messenger, The Information news site reported on Monday. The talks are at an early stage and they could break down. But incorporating games into Messenger, which is popular among a growing number of mobile users, could boost the company's gaming business, which depends heavily on the declining number of desktop computer users.

Most of the company's non-advertising revenue comes from games, where people can use Facebook's Payments infrastructure to purchase virtual and digital goods. Facebook charges developers a fee for those sales.

In the first quarter of 2015, revenue from Facebook's "Payments and other fees" segment dropped by 5 percent year on year. Much of that revenue is generated from games played on desktop computers, whose usage Facebook expects to drop, resulting in a fall of its Payments business, the company has said in recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Facebook Messenger is now a platform for other developers' apps, whose functionalities can be incorporated into chats. As of now, most of these partner apps are geared towards photos, whether to create GIFs or to apply digital effects. Messenger has its own app store.

Adding games, and ones that offer digital goods, could draw more users to Messenger and grow Facebook's fees revenue.

Although the Messenger platform is now best suited for content-creation apps, going forward "we'll think about what else might make sense," a Facebook spokeswoman said Friday.

Messenger now has more than 600 million users who log in at least once a month, according to Facebook. That's almost half of Facebook's total user base. Last year, the company began forcing users to download Messenger for mobile chat. Previously, it was possible for Facebook users to chat from within the site's mobile apps.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesgamessocial networkingmobilesocial mediainternetFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?