Facebook Games Get Bigger, Louder

Firing back at Google+, Facebook has rolled out a series of new features to enhance game playing experiences on its platform, enhancing screen real estate and providing a real-time game news ticker.
Following the launch of a handful of games on Google's Google+ platform, Facebook has announced a series of enhancements to cater to its game developers. Apps are now being given more real estate on a user's browser, giving developers more screen space to work with. Apps can now expand to the full height and width of a user's browser if developers choose to enable the new feature, called Fluid Canvas (examples here). Additionally, Facebook has added a real-time news ticker to the right of the app window, which shows only relevant updates related to games. The ticker, which makes Facebook games "more social than ever," according to the company, will show players what their friends are doing in any game on the platform, enhancing the visibility of titles to an already captive game-playing audience. To enhance the ticker further, Facebook is also rolling out new Graph APIs for developers to more easily publish stories based on in-game achievements and scores. Finally, the company says it has improved its News Feed ranking system to give more weight to high quality app-related content and less weight to content that is frequently hidden or marked as spam. Facebook currently claims that more than 200 million unique people play games on the platform each month, and that the 80 most-played games have at least one million active users each. More information on the new features is available on the company's updated documentation site.

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