Facebook Makes Changes To Policy For Instant Games In An Attempt To Showcase Better Content

Facebook's Instant Games feature is seeing a few policy updates, geared around ensuring quality control in the products added to the platform. So, what does this mean for developers?

Instant Games is a gaming feature built into both Facebook's website and app, offering download free games for the company's userbase to play at their leisure. Facebook Internal Data cites its userbase to consist of 350 million monthly active gamers. In such a burgeoning marketplace, the novelty of Facebook's pre-curated game listing would wear off rather fast. Therefore, the company turned to independent developers in seeking a helping hand.

What they ended up finding were more hands than initially deemed necessary. Facebook had already invited developers to add submissions into the gaming service, but would manually go through each and every entry, reviewing it before eventual publication. And while this worked well enough, the process was slow and their growing userbase was hungry for more to do. Therefore in 2018, two years prior to Instant Games' inception, the entire process was automated in an effort to streamline entry selections. The move, met with warmth from indie developers, was regarded a success as new games flooded the platform.

Then again, success is hardly ever so bald-faced in nature, as Facebook soon found out. While the inclusion of new games had become a quicker process, that very haste came at the cost of quality. Games would be buggy, feature poor level design, directly copy level design from more successful entries, the list goes on. All things that Instant Games, and by association Facebook, was not happy about. Now, the pendulum had to swing back, reducing the speed of entries so long as it meant reassuring Instant Games' userbase of future quality content

The social network recently put up an entire list of prerequisites and judgement criteria for indie developers via the Facebook Gaming blog. The criteria, with bullet-points such as only allowing stand-alone games or respecting intellectual property, have been clarified to not oppose simplistic games, but only make room for more competent game design. These were accompanied by the announcement of an Approved Partner Program as well, allowing developers to actively join a working relationship with the company in order to have more trusted entries on Instant Games.

The timeline of these announcements states that the new policies will be enacted starting from the 6th of May, 2021. On the same day, applications to enter the Approved Partner Program will also begin, letting developers take the first new steps towards featuring content on the Facebook-owned platform.

Read next: Facebook Provides More Transparency to its Users After Updating the Feature “Access Your Information”
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