Facebook Messenger’s quest to own each and every way to connect friends is now expanding to a broader set of experiences, including utilities and games. It was only a matter of time before someone built a game on the Messenger app, having announced that it was spinning its chat app into a standalone platform with its own set apps. Doodle Draw is Facebook’s first messenger game and is available for both Android as well as iOS.
Till now on the Messenger, Facebook allowed only content creation apps like GIF and sound effect makers. Where the closest thing to a game was Talking Tom, which allowed for a cartoon avatar to deliver a video message, the Messenger has now turned into an Asian-style messaging platform of its own, complete with a series of apps, buyable in-app stickers, and yes, games. Doodle Draw is its first.
Doodle Draw is something as familiar as Pictionary prompting gamers a few things for you to draw, which can be scribbled out with a limited set of colours. This digital doodle is sent to a friend who has to guess what the image is all about and correct guesses earn in-game currency for players which can then be used to buy more colours. Both players get points and you can rinse and repeat. It’s one of the simplest games you’ve played and users have to just tap the link to understand the game right away. Those who don’t wish to play Doodle Draw via Facebook’s chat app, always have the option to play the web-version instead.
Doodle Draw(ing Power)
Doodle Draw can be found in Messenger’s overflow menu, alongside a list of utility apps. However, you’ll need to download the game from Google Play or the App Store before you can have a turn. The game doesn’t seem significantly more fun than other similar games such as Draw Something or Pictionary, but the main aim is to be playing and having fun with friends, which fits perfectly with the strength of Facebook Messenger. The only thing that seems to be a slight issue with playing Doodle Draw is that although sending pictures to a friend through Messenger is easy, the game’s mechanics happen in the app itself. However, it shouldn’t be a problem to find a friend to play the game with; the Messenger has been downloaded more than a billion times.
Whether Facebook would earn a cut of such revenue is unclear, but at present it is not taxing other Messenger apps. If done right, Messenger could nurture a system of social games that rely on private messaging and make players run back to the chat app. These games would ideally profit from being a significant part of a chat thread and fit in naturally to the structure. In Doodle Draw you could message and have a good laugh about each other’s mangled depictions.
However, if done wrong, these same games could spawn spam the very way Facebook desktop games polluted the News Feed. Exploitive game mechanics where you earned in-game rewards for inviting friends and pestering them to play cannot be more disturbing and could result in diminished users of the app.
Since the action is built right into the conversation, the direct connection between people makes it even easier to strike up a game. Unlike the history associated with Facebook games which became a source of irritation for users, Messenger doesn’t allow for blanket invitations making its games an ongoing eyesore for people who don’t play. Additionally, apps cannot send messages on your behalf and there is no ‘Send To All’ button.
The Messenger is a priceless asset and we are hoping that Facebook sees to it that it does not squander through game spam.