Facebook will get its groove back with better social games discovery

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Facebook and GamesGetting bored of the same three Zynga Facebook games? Facebook Director of Games Partnerships Sean Ryan has some wonderful news. If you remember, Ryan recently outlined several plans and ideas for improving the gaming experience on Facebook. During an interview with Inside Social Games, Ryan revealed that before 2011 is through Facebook will display more games-related stories to players, and even filter out stories that players click on more frequently.

"Last year when we made the changes because of the spam issues, we really dialed back [virality]," Ryan told ISG. "Now that we feel confident about our automatic [filter] systems, we can start dialing back up virality with better targeting and better quality. So that if your game is sending stories through the news feed that users don't like - they don't click on it - then over time, the algorithm adjusts and users see fewer of those stories. We want quality to be about whether or not users like it."

In other words, Facebook will essentially learn which games you like, and those that you don't. Then, the platform will display those News Feed messages accordingly. However, this approach doesn't exactly gel with new users, as the platform needs time to react to how players interact with News Feeds. Ryan is considering an App Store-like approach that would basically tell players what to buy, but thinks that method goes against what Facebook is all about: social discovery, according to ISG.

Facebook Games Directory
Unfortunately, Ryan and his team hasn't pinpointed a solution to this problem yet, though ISG points out that new users can find new games through the existing Games page on Facebook. (Click on the "Games Request" tab on the left hand side, and scroll to the very bottom to see what games your friends are playing.) And looking into 2012, Ryan studies existing games platforms like Xbox Live--he teases voice chat, but says that Facebook's focus is on discovery. Hey, look on the bright side: You'll find new games to play with soon enough, and hopefully far more easily than ever before.

Are you excited to hear that games discovery is coming back to Facebook? How do you think the company should handle new players? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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