Social networking giant Facebook could be set to add mobile gaming to Messenger, potentially opening up a vast new market for mobile gaming.
The firm is reported to be discussing the plans with a string of developers, which would make their games downloadable for users via its existing app store.
The Messenger app – which allows Facebook users to mail each other instantly from their phone without having to log in to the Facebook site itself – has over 600 million monthly active users already.
Messenger was launched in 2011 and has since gone from strength to strength, with users required to download a special app to communicate with their existing Facebook friends.
Earlier this year, the firm added peer-to-peer payment support to the app, as well as opening it up to third party development firms – a move which was seen by many observers as paving the way for an expansion of its online gaming capabilities.
If the plans come to fruition, the app could be used for gaming, e-commerce and payment methods, among other things.
If Messenger becomes a fully-fledged gaming platform, developers could move their apps to the service in exchange for dedicated messaging and payments. It could also be turned into a dedicated gaming platform, leaving behind the distraction of Facebook’s existing news feed items such as personal photos and status updates.
The move could have major benefits for the tech giant if third party developers begin to develop apps especially for Messenger, opening up a whole new market place that could cause worries for both Apple and Google, with further app store sales possible down the line.
The move could be further beneficial to Facebook because users could download games from Facebook’s own app store, meaning they would not have to go to Google Play or iTunes. This could mean users making in-app purchases, with Facebook getting a bigger piece of the pie.
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