Facebook Gaming, a division of Meta, has announced that you can now play games during video calls on Messenger. At launch, there are 14 free-to-play games available in Messenger video calls on iOS, Android, and the web. The games include popular titles such as Words With Friends, Card Wars, Exploding Kittens, and Mini Gold FRVR.
To access the games, you need to start a video call on Messenger and tap the group mode button in the middle, then tap the “Play” icon. From there you can browse the games library. The company notes that two or more people must be on your call to play games.
“Facebook Gaming is pleased to announce that you can now play your favorite games during video calls on Messenger,” the company wrote in a blog post. “This new shared experience in Messenger makes it easy to play games with friends and family over a video call, allowing you to deepen connections with friends and family by engaging in conversation and gameplay at the same time.”
The company says it’s working on bringing more free games to the platform this year. Facebook Gaming invites developers interested in integrating this feature into their games to contact the company.
The news comes as Facebook shut down the standalone Facebook Gaming app last October. The app had launched in April 2020 near the start of the pandemic as a way for users to watch their favorite streamers, play instant games, and join gaming groups. Facebook noted at the time that users can still find their games, streamers, and groups when they visit Gaming in the Facebook app.
While Facebook has experimented with Messenger games in recent years, the idea of a quick and easy way to play games while video chatting may be a welcome addition to some users.
The launch comes as Facebook recently announced that it is testing the ability for users to access their Messenger inboxes within the Facebook app. In 2016, Facebook removed messaging capabilities from its mobile web application in order to push people to the Messenger app, in a move that angered many users. Now the company is testing a reversal of this decision.