Home > Casino & games > Social gaming > Facebook Messenger: the next big opportunity in social slots?

Facebook Messenger: the next big opportunity in social slots?

| By
Facebook is about to get serious about gaming on the Facebook Messenger Platform and will allow this to go viral, which is why social slot consultant Guy Hasson sees this as the biggest opportunity for social slot companies over the next few years.

Facebook is about to get serious about gaming on the Facebook Messenger Platform and will allow this to go viral, which is why social slot consultant Guy Hasson sees this as the biggest opportunity for social slot companies over the next few years.

I’ve been in social slots from the year Playtika came into the market and went on to conquer it, so have seen many trends come and go.

In this article I want to share with you a new trend that’s coming in the next few months. It is a trend that will allow small companies to compete with the big ones, bringing back virality to social slots. It is a trend that will force the big social slot companies to come in early and fight hard, or risk getting left behind by smaller and more nimble newcomers.

You want to be in the next trend in social slots? Here it is: the Facebook Messenger Platform. Operators such as Paddy Power are already using the Facebook Messenger Platform to enable customers to place bets directly through the mobile application.

In this article I’ll share with you my predictions about what’s going to happen and why the Facebook Messenger Platform (FMP) represents the biggest opportunity in social slots over the next few years.

Stage #1: The present
At present, the FMP does not look like an opportunity. To an outsider it may seem as if there is nothing there, just a few lame games that people can play within their Messenger app.

However, in the background, Facebook is talking to a few hundred companies about their next slew of games, some of which include social slots. Only a few will be chosen.

The most important criteria for Facebook are: is the game engaging? Is the game retentive? If we make it viral, will it be effectively viral?

For social slots we already know that the answer to all three questions is a resounding “yes”. Which brings us to step #2.

Stage #2: Facebook launches viral games on FMP
Within the next few months, the first games chosen by Facebook will be launched. These will include a handful of social slot titles, the identity of which have yet to be decided.

Facebook will then willingly allow what it doesn’t currently allow via its regular platform: virality. Virality was choked off by Facebook a few years ago because, with all the games doing it, the offer became spammy and filled up the users’ feeds.

But when Facebook wants to promote one of its new features or products, it goes all out.

For instance, when Facebook wanted to promote videos, then anyone with a video got promoted to the top of users’ feeds.

When Facebook wanted to promote Facebook Live (it still does), it promoted live videos to the top of the users’ feeds, and ensured all their friends also received notifications about it.

Facebook doesn’t just want its messenger platform to be big, it wants it to usurp other apps as well as other platforms. The purpose of these first games, as far as Facebook is concerned, is to spread the knowledge among its users that there are great games on FMP and to instill in them the habit of playing these games on this platform.

Facebook will allow – and in the beginning it will be a feature, not a bug – viral messages from its FMP games to actively and freely reach Facebook users. As it was in 2011 and 2012, when people get messages from their friends, they will believe that the messages were sent personally, increasing the chances of users clicking on these messages and starting to play.

And so, as the number of FMP players begins to grow, we will enter stage #3.

Stage #3: Developers have almost free reign to create games on FMP
A few months after stage #2 begins, Facebook will open its doors to all developers who cooperate with their standards and policies. As it was in 2011 and 2012, more and more companies come in and launch games and begin to spread viral messages around these, and FMP will explode in popularity.

With players being able to play the same games on Facebook on mobile rather than having to download an app from Apple or Google, Facebook is planning to take a huge chunk out of both Apple’s and Google’s incomes. And for that to happen, it will need to be spammy. That is the purpose of this exercise: virality.

12 to 18 months after stage #3 begins, stage #4 will kick in.

Stage #4: Facebook chokes off viral messages on FMP games
Now, with so many games on FMP, the messaging around these will become spammy. As it has done before in the past, Facebook will choke off the spammy messages from FMP games. This will be done to provide Facebook users with a better experience, but only after FMP is inundated with users and users have changed their habits.

As happened the last time Facebook choked off virality, the comp;anies and games that have reached the top by this stage will find it easier to stay there, and those that try to enter now, following the wealth of content launched during the previous two stages, will find it nigh-on impossible to get their head above water without spending a fortune on user acquisition.

The opportunity
The opportunity here is not in finding users that have not played before, although there will be a few of those available for companies to acquire.

The opportunity is that we are now on the cusp of repeating history but starting from a more level playing field. Anyone who comes in at stage #2 will have first access to users, cheaply, and with free and high virality. By the time stage #3 starts, they will already have amassed millions of monthly users.

Anyone who comes in early on stage #3 will find the going tougher, but still have good access to users, and as well as to cheap, and free, high virality around their games.

This opportunity will allow small companies to compete with the big ones on a fair footing. Small companies will not need to spend millions on user acquisition as they will have free access to effective virality. Small companies have the potential to become rulers of the field, while big companies will have to come in early and fight for market share with everyone else.

Are you going to be there? If not, you’re going to kick yourself for knowing about the opportunity but missing it.

Good luck!

Related articles: Paddy Power in market-first with Facebook Messenger chatbot
SlotsMillion rolls out Red Rake Gaming content
Social casino finances: Q4 update (paywall)

  • Regions:
  • US

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter