Facebook testing games-only activity feed, no games ticker

Facebook is experimenting with many different changes to how it promotes and emphasizes games on its social network. Here's what the company is testing right now, and why.

Facebook has made multiple changes around games: greater discovery as well as engagement with games stories in the News Feed, a games Timeline unit, the addition of a prominent link to app requests on the homepage, a games-only activity feed, and changes to the live ticker.

More specifically, here's what's new:

  • Enabling social discovery of games through News Feed: after launching games stories on mobile, Facebook is now doing the same on the desktop; users will see stories that list games their friends are playing the most. Facebook hopes these stories will bring new users and significant re-engagement to games. If you're a developer, you can track referral traffic from these stories (app insights => Open Graph => Action: Play).
  • Showcasing games on Timeline: all users now have the option to have their games activity appear on Timeline via a new unit that shows a user's top game activity over a given period of time. This Timeline unit highlights the games users play the most, as well as top scores and achievements, allowing for quick re-engagement for the user and discovery among friends.
  • Outstanding App Request on the home page: Facebook is testing a new link to outstanding games and apps requests on the upper right corner of the home page, in the hopes to increase visibility and thus drive more traffic to games and apps.
  • Games-only activity feed: Facebook is also testing a new games-only feed with friends' game activity (Apps and Games dashboard => Apps and Games bookmark in the left hand navigation => Friend Activity).
  • Updating the games and apps ticker: Facebook has found the live ticker alongside games and apps has not been a substantial driver of traffic and so it is experimenting with removing the current version of the ticker on games and apps Pages. Facebook is exploring other ways to improve and simplify the games experience. Bookmarks on games and apps pages still drive significant traffic and re-engagement, so they're here to stay.

Separately, Facebook is also reminding developers that it is killing App Profile Pages tomorrow, so make sure to migrate your Likes and vanity URL to an existing Facebook Page if you haven't already. "We continue to work on additional features to drive greater discovery and engagement with games and apps," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

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