Facebook puts game demos in your news feed

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Facebook news feed game demos
Look out for playable demos inside the Facebook app.
Photo: Facebook

If you think your Facebook news feed couldn’t possibly get any messier, think again. As of today, users will see start seeing playable game demos as they scroll their Facebook timelines.

The demos will let you enjoy sections of a game before downloading it to your device, Facebook says. Angry Birds developer Rovio is already reaping the benefits of playable ads.

“The explosive growth of the mobile app ecosystem posts a real challenge for today’s game developers,” said Rich Kelly, Facebook’s vice president of global gaming.

“It’s no longer enough to build a great game; app developers must strategically market their games to capture the attention and loyalty of their most valuable players.”

What better way to target players than by putting games right in front of their faces?

Facebook news feed game demos

That is exactly what Facebook is doing. When you use the app today, you might notice that playable game demos have been thrown into your news feed. You’ll be able to enjoy them for a short time without having to download anything.

Facebook and its partners hope that the demos will draw users in and drive more downloads. They should certainly be more effective than traditional game ads. Rovio is already seeing success after a test run.

The Angry Birds creator enjoyed a 40 percent lower cost per paying user and a 70 percent rise in day seven return on ad spending as a result of the demos. Bagelcode, developer of Club Vegas Casino,has also enjoyed a 3.2 times improvement in return on ad spending.

Monitor your Facebook usage

The demos should also increase Facebook engagement. The longer you spend playing games in your news feed, the longer you’ll spend using Facebook overall. And now it’s easier to monitor your usage.

Facebook now offers new tools, rolled out earlier this week, that show you exactly how long you’ve been using its apps. You’ll be able to do the same with Screen Time in iOS 12 when it rolls out to everyone this fall.s