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Facebook has launched advertisements to monetize a new type of popular casual game, dubbed Instant Games, which people play on the Facebook Messenger feed.

The company launched Instant Games for Messenger last year, enabling developers to create games that are playable in a Messenger feed. The games are easy to play and accessible, and usually resemble older arcade experiences. Since the launch, billions of games have been played.

“Since our launch, the platform continues to evolve with more games and features for developers to build flexible, rich gameplay,” said Mike Weingert, product manager for Messenger at Facebook. “This includes leaderboards and tournament support, visually engaging and customizable game messages and CTA buttons, along with the option to introduce meaningful re-engagement capabilities with game bots. Today, we’re kicking off the next phase of the Instant Games platform’s evolution by rolling out tests of interstitial and rewarded video ads with select game developers.”

The monetization is in testing now. Right now, Instant Games will use demand from Facebook’s Audience Network to deliver ads in-game, and players can expect to see ads during gameplay sessions in apps such as Blackstorm’s Everwing and FRVR’s Basketball FRVR.


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The ads will roll out with a small set of games for testing purposes. The ads are interstitial (they play after you complete something) and rewarded video ads (which are ads you watch in order to earn an in-game reward).

“As we start to test monetization, we are also making it easier for our closed beta developers to submit and launch games directly on the platform with a more robust toolset,” Weingert said. “Integrating additional monetization features and adding better tools are two critical components to have in place prior to opening the Instant Games platform more widely.”

Instant Games is a closed beta platform for developer partners on Messenger for iOS, Android, and News Feed.

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