Should Facebook turn to banks for growth?

Gerald Bowen
August 10, 2018

Facebook has launched augmented reality games in the video chat feature of Messenger.

Facebook has already had limited success in this area too, striking a deal with PayPal in October 2017 to allow Messenger users to transfer money, track transactions and shipping updates.

Introducing the new feature, Facebook Messenger's Product Manager Nora Micheva said: "For the moments when we can't be together in real life, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most".

Currently, there are two AR games, 'Don't Smile' and 'Asteroid Attack' that are available to play.

Most often, if video chats go long, we do things to pass the time-Facebook is giving us a way to do that right on the video message. Find a funky little spaceship perched on your nose - it's now your mission to protect the spaceship from pesky asteroids in a chaotic intergalactic space.

Facebook appears determined to radically change how video calls work - the company is planning the release of two additional games "in the coming weeks and months".

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Facebook maintains that if it gets the data from banks, it will use it to offer services that encourage people to spend more time on Messenger, and will not use it to target ads or share with third parties.

To try out the games, Facebook said you need to have the latest version of Messenger installed.

That chatbot integration, which has no humans on either end of the line to limit privacy risks, was announced a year ago and launched this March.

Once the video chat has started you can press the star icon on your screen and choose a game to play, your friends will then get a notification to join the game.

Through pure dint of being used by everyone, Messenger is becoming the defacto cross-messaging platform for many.

Facebook also announced that over 17 billion video chats were made in 2017, twice as many as the year before.

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