Facebook Makes Games Less Noisy, But Only If You Aren't Playing Them

Facebook product manager Jared Morgenstern is on stage at the Facebook Gaming event in Palo Alto and after describing the internal codename “Super Mario Party” as “Doing things with your close friends is better than doing things with strangers,” (yes, random) he finally got into what newsfeed changes Facebook will be making with regards to games in order to make the Facebook gaming experience less annoying for both the people who are playing and the people who want nothing to do with games.

This is big with regards to exposing users to games, as Facebook is making a concession to gamers still reeling from limitations on game updates. From the Facebook blog

“People who do not play games will only see stories when a particular game is added by a group of friends, instead of ongoing News Feed stories. These dedicated stories will show which friends are playing a game, making it easy to join them. Over the coming months, we plan to launch additional features that provide improved and personalized social games and News Feed experiences. Happy gaming!”

Here is an outline of the games-related interface changes below:

Fix Navigation In Order To Make It More Useful

1. Smarter Bookmarks — The left hand panel of bookmarks that just sat there before, will now actually take user behavior into account, using a relevance algorithm i.e # of days in the last 30 days that you’ve used an application.

2. Stronger Reengagement Channel — Facebook will replacing the grey text of gaming notifications with the more stand out blue bubbles. In addition to the functionality of retracting games requests, Facebook will be moving requests to the left sidebar.

Simplifying And Strengthening Behaviors

3. Requests to the Dashboards — Gaming related requests will now be moved  to the games dashboard.

Understand Our Shared Audience

4. Targeted Stream Posts plus Personalizing Stories — People who don’t play games will only see when a game is added, instead of ongoing “Marissa is building a barn in FarmVille!” type updates.

Make Viral Loops More Frictionless

5. Simplified policy changes — In the coming months Facebook will be adding more changes and features in order to streamline the social gaming experience.

VP of Business Development Dan Rose closed off the announcement by saying that, “We recognize that some of the things that we’ve done in the past.. sent a signal that maybe we don’t care about games or thought that they should be less prominent” and reaffirmed Facebook’s desire to be the best place in the world to play social games. With about 200 million people playing games monthly, it is definitely are the largest in terms of population.