More than 800 million gamers play a Facebook connected game each month, and our Games SDK is the engine that helps to power this massive community across every gaming surface from mobile to console to PC.
Today at GDC we're releasing a new Games SDK for PC gaming to help developers bring more players into their games earlier, for longer and more often. The SDK supports C++ as well as Unity and includes new features that are anchored in two key areas:
Increasing community engagement by making it easier and more rewarding for players to share from the most important surface of all: a developer's game.
Understanding and optimizing the impact of a game's community activity with app events and analytics.
Livestreaming for All: Our new livestreaming API makes it easier than ever for developers to add Facebook streaming functionality to their PC games. In a matter of seconds, players can now livestream directly from the game client to a Facebook surface without any hardware or third party software required. The new livestreaming API will also be available for mobile developers in the coming weeks via our updated mobile SDK.
Livestreaming is part of our upgrade to the powerful Sharing functionality in our Games SDK. In addition to livestreaming, we'll soon add the ability for players to record great gaming moments and share videos on Facebook Pages, Groups and Profiles via a new clipping feature that we have in the works.
Rewards: Our new rewards feature enables PC developers to create a meaningful watch experience for their community and re-engagement opportunities for their game by curating and granting free, in-game rewards for viewers that tune in during livestreams on Facebook. Rewards help to increase community interaction as players watch together and offer an incentive to jump back into the games they love. Hi-Rez Studios, developer of Paladins, has been testing rewards during the Paladins Global Series and has seen increased engagement and very positive viewer feedback. Based on strong results Hi-Rez will officially launch rewards during the Paladins Premier League on March 24th. We're now making the rewards feature available for all PC game devs.
Facebook Login & Friend Finder Enhanced with Key Player Stats: Facebook Login and Friend Finder have been valuable tools to help game developers connect their communities together. We've seen some encouraging results already from recent integrations. At BlizzCon, Blizzard cited a Facebook integration called Suggested Friends as a key contributing factor to seeing players double their network of friends on Battle.net, its online gaming platform.
With Key Player Stats, a new feature in our Games SDK, PC game developers can help their community connect even more by integrating real time player stats from their games into Facebook Groups. As a topic, games make up one of the largest categories of Groups on Facebook overall. Now players can post their stats to a Group to connect and find others to play with.
Understanding & Optimizing Community Impact
App Events & Analytics: For the first time, PC developers can integrate custom App Events and leverage Facebook Analytics to better optimize and understand their game's community activity. This new feature in our Games SDK for PC game development was previously available on mobile and web. Over time, integrating App Events will provide valuable insights that developers can use to improve game mechanics and better serve their community.
To learn more about our updated Facebook Games SDK for PC and mobile development, join the Facebook Gaming team today at GDC SF for our annual Developer Day. We'll share more about the latest product and engineering updates and include insights and learnings from some of our developer partners.
Instant Games Platform Now Open for All Developers
March 14, 2018
Since we launched the Instant Games platform in closed beta, nearly 200 games have been built by talented developers for Messenger and Facebook. Every major feature we've added to the platform during closed beta, whether it's turn-based gameplay, monetization or livestreaming, has one thing in common: it was built hand-in-hand with game developers to one day make the platform available for all. We've learned a lot from working with our developer partners and have expanded new functionality on the platform to get to where we are today.
On behalf of the entire Instant Games team, we are excited to announce that the platform is available for all developers to build HTML5 cross-platform gaming experiences. New developers can read up by visiting our Instant Games developer documentation page, or start building and submitting games right away at our App page. We've also included a list of recommended HTML5 game engines that we're working with to support the platform.
As part of the platform's expanded availability, we have several new features to announce that will help developers monetize, measure and grow their games:
Ads API now Available for all Developers
Following our initial tests late last year, we recently rolled out ads-based monetization to all beta-partner developers. All new developers building for Instant Games will have access to our Ads API, as well. Formats include interstitial and rewarded video ads powered by Audience Network. We're seeing some initial, encouraging results from closed beta developers that have integrated Ads. Check out the success story from FRVR, the devs behind Basketball FRVR to learn more.
Developers will also have access to our recently introduced Monetization Manager, the new destination for managing monetization and performance with Audience Network. Monetization Manager will help Instant Games developers maximize revenue with advanced optimization tools, simplify management of ad placements across apps, and provide enhanced analytics functionality and deeper reporting. We also added Instant Games specific reporting into Facebook Analytics to help developers understand and optimize the unique social contexts of the platform.
As developers build audiences on Instant Games, it's critical to be able to cross-promote between relevant games on the platform. With Game Switch API developers can now cross-promote new games or game updates to its existing player base across the Instant Games platform. Developers can also now create deep links to directly send players to their game outside of Facebook and Messenger channels.
Dynamic Ranking Updates
During our closed beta, we've honed our ranking algorithm to dynamically surface relevant games based on recent play habits and interests. Our updated ranking algorithm is designed to help developers reach a wider and more relevant audience of players.
Ad Units Coming Soon for User Acquisition
In addition to cross-promotion, ranking and deep linking, we'll soon roll out the ability for Instant Games developers to build ad campaigns to acquire new players across Facebook. Ad units for Instant Games will take players directly from clicking an ad to playing a game.
General Platform Improvements & Updates
Along with these updates, we've made lots of general improvements in order to ready the platform for broad developer availability. That includes making it easy for developers to submit and launch games directly on the platform, enable players to sign up for bot subscriptions and add home screen shortcuts to help with re-engagement, making updates to in-game leaderboards and more.
To learn more about building for the Instant Games platform, join the Facebook Gaming team at GDC SF on Monday March 19 for its annual Developer Day. We'll share more about the latest product and engineering updates and include insights and learnings from some of the most successful Instant Games developers.
From all of us on the Facebook Gaming and Messenger teams, thank you to all of our closed beta developers that have helped us evolve the Instant Games platform into what it is today. We're just getting started, and we can't wait to continue building the future of games together.
We’re focused on helping creators. It's changed how people come together around video, and it gives gaming creators the chance to build and connect with their community in real time.
We’ve also seen some encouraging results from gaming creators already. With more than 1 million followers, StoneMountain64, is one of the most popular livestreamers on Facebook, bringing his community closer together around daily livestreams of PUBG, Fortnite and more.Our progress over the last year was just the beginning. Today, we’re excited to officially kick off our gaming creator pilot program, and welcome even more gaming creators to the platform.
For these creators and for the future gaming creators on Facebook, our pilot program is focused on several things:
Helping gaming creators build more meaningful and more engaged communities on Facebook than anywhere else
Increasing discovery and distribution across multiple surfaces, including Facebook.com, Instagram and Oculus
Supporting gaming creators with the types of tools they need to make a living streaming games on Facebook
Building a platform where creators at every level have the opportunity to thrive
There's a lot of work to be done, but we’re committed to building the fundamental architecture that gaming creators need to be successful, starting with foundational elements like enabling all creators in the program to livestream in 1080p/60fps. Most of all, with each new feature we add for gaming video, we’re committed to building it alongside our creators hand-in-hand.
To that end, many gaming creators monetize their videos directly from the support of their passionate fans, and we’re actively exploring ways for fans to back their favorite gaming creators via payments during select livestreams on Facebook.com. Based on the results of our initial tests, we’ll expand our fan support monetization initiatives to more gaming creators, including participants in our initial pilot program.
If you’re a gaming creator or an aspiring gaming creator interested in growing your community in new ways, we’d love to hear from you. Sign-up here.
Tomorrow we’ll host an event to onboard dozens of talented gaming creators that are entering the program. This group includes a diverse mix of livestreamers that play a wide variety of games, including Misses Mae, Doom49, The Warp Zone and many more. To see our gaming creators in action for the first time, tune in tomorrow at 5:15pm PT for a special livestream on Daybreak's H1Z1 Facebook Page to see who is the last one in this fast-paced, action-packed battle royale shooter.
And as the games industry event calendar gets into full swing, we plan to make Facebook gaming creators a centerpiece of our presence, starting with PAX East in April.
Livestreaming and watching others play games is a worldwide phenomena. And when you combine the massive global community of gamers on Facebook, with the community-first format that gaming creators know how to cultivate, we together can shape a creator-first ecosystem on Facebook.