Conor O'Nolan

Working with Facebook Messenger Instant Games

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I've spend the last 3 months working on Facebook Messenger games. It's potentially a big market, but Facebook need to make lots of changes to catch up with apps on IOS and Android.

For web developers (as opposed to app developers) Facebook instant games is very different and requires a lot additional work plus paying the Apple Developer Fee. And then there's a review process.

I've written an article on Linkedin that discusses a lot of issues. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/working-facebook-messenger-instant-games-conor-o-nolan/

Comments and feedback welcome.

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2 minutes ago, rich said:

I liked it too, although the "plus paying the Apple Developer Fee" comment didn't make any sense to me. Was it just devs getting confused?

Seriously, Facebook require an Apple Developer Team ID, so they can put the game on IOS. $100 per annum which is hard for indie devs who don't publish on IOS directly.

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4 minutes ago, Conor O'Nolan said:

Seriously, Facebook require an Apple Developer Team ID, so they can put the game on IOS. $100 per annum which is hard for indie devs who don't publish on IOS directly.

Indeed correct, Apple’s constraint though, not Facebook.

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It's not comparing Apples to Apples.  Designing a (decent) Facebook Instant Game is about tightly coupling the "Context" of a group chat into a game.  That's not something that fits readily with other mobile app platforms (where "social" tends to be a bolt-on), and stands as a fairly unique value proposition.  Granted FB were not the first with this paradigm, nor the last messenger to roll something like this out.

Annoyances like inconsistent platform monetisation (iap on some platforms, ads on others, Apple developer account, etc) is a reflection of the fractured native-app eco system, not FB in particular?  Granted I wouldn't rely on direct monetisation through this platform yet, but nor would I care to see FBIG become yet-another App Store with the same-old games, same-old discoverability issues, same-old monetisation bad habits.  I'd rather see a new type of game emerge, one that can can grow beyond the walled gardens.

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