Social Media

Facebook improves user experience around social gaming

FarmVille - One of the most popular games on Facebook
FarmVille - One of the most popular games on Facebook

Today Facebook announced a number of new features that give its users more control over the updates they see in their News Feed.

The most important change announced today is that game stories only post to your News Feed if you have played the game. The one exception to this is when a particular game is added by a group of your friends, amalgamating into one story on your News Feed instead of ongoing feed stories.

Although this will likely effect the virality of apps like FarmVille, Facebook is confident in its rationale behind these changes: “Tens of millions of app wall posts are deleted every day by people who find them irrelevant. By surfacing relevant stories based on usage and discovery stories based on friends, we believe we’re providing the best user experience and building lasting and long term value.”

Facebook intelligent bookmarks
Facebook intelligent bookmarks

For people who play games on Facebook more prominent News Feed stories are promised, with the degree of prominence directly related to how active a person is in a particular game. On the left-hand-side on the homepage bookmarks have become smarter, automatically appearing and reordering themselves based on what you’re playing, or play most often. Alongside these intelligent bookmarks is a clear, highlighted number of pending request or tasks relating to that bookmark. There is also the ability to manage game activity, like game requests, in the Games Dashboard and discover new games.

From these small changes it’s clear that Facebook wants to advance social gaming growth on its platform. Expect more enhancements from Facebook as regards gaming in the coming months. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.