Zuckerberg outlines the future of Facebook gaming

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg outlines the company's plans for the future of gaming on the network
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg outlines the company's plans for the future of gaming on the network

Facebook has outlined its plans to improve the quality and experience of gaming on the social network at a dedicated gaming event in Palo Alto this week.

The event was led by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, with numerous game developers in attendance.

Zuckerberg outlined how, every day, around 300 million people come to Facebook.com and that while hundreds of millions of users love playing games on Facebook, there are equally hundreds of millions of users that HATE playing games, and (more likely) hate spam from friends who are playing games on Facebook.

Site Integrity team

Facebook has a team called the Site Integrity/Graph Integrity team, who are tasked with ensuring that the experience users have on the site is a positive one.

Zuckerberg claims that 'friend spam' – friend requests that aren't accepted – is down 40 per cent over the last two month, largely down to improving gaming on the network and eliminating those negative experiences some users were having connected to Facebook games.

"When we turn the weight of game stories in News Feed up— we get complaints," said the Facebook CEO. "Turn it down, get complaints. We want to build and enable anything that hundreds of millions of people want to use.

"The solutions are pretty simple: if someone is playing a game, and they want context about that game… then don't limit stories about that game. On the other hand, if you've never played a certain game, then you probably don't want to see context from a lot of friends who are playing that game."

New Facebook games team

Facebook now has a dedicated gaming team, headed up by Jared Morgenstern, who outlines how the top ten games on the network all have over 12 million active users each

Morgenstern notes on the Facebook blog this week how the company has "assembled a team of dedicated engineers and product managers who are focused exclusively on designing the platform you need to maximize the potential of your games."

He adds: "And we are game lovers, every last one of us. It is clear that games have been one of the most successful categories of Platform applications, but we've struggled in the past with how to optimize the games experience on Facebook."

As such Facebook has announced a series of changes which are "designed to lay the foundation for further games innovation on Facebook… the first step toward a new platform infrastructure and APIs that will provide you with the tools to reach and engage the growing number of people who play games, and drive discovery among their friends.

"With these changes, we're also simplifying our platform policies dramatically. We realise that detailed policies that spell out exactly what you can do and can't do are hard for developers and simply add friction to the process of building on Facebook.

"With the changes we are making today, we are in a better position to eliminate many specific policies in favor of broader principles to ensure that applications respect user trust."

See lots more on Facebook's new games experience here.

Adam Hartley