Facebook Begins Testing Game Discovery Features in Updated iPad App

Facebook for iPad

When you are using the desktop version of Facebook, you’ve probably noticed some interesting content in your sidebar. Most of the content is related to advertisements, but there are also some suggestions for pages you may like or trending stories. Today, the social networking company announced that game discovery and trending videos would soon be added to the iPad app’s sidebar for our convenience.

According to TechCrunch, more than 70 percent of people who use Facebook on their iPad played a Facebook-connected game in the past 90 days. So, the company is looking to make the two more integrated with the new homepage sidebar, only available on iPad.

From the Facebook newsroom, the company is testing new ways to “help people discover more timely and entertaining content.” The new information will appear on the right hand side of the iPad app when in landscape mode. The sidebar will include trending topics and videos, links to games you already play, and suggestions for games you might like to try.

One reason Facebook might want to include the game integration feature with the iPad app is to lure more developers to integrate the social networking site into their games. Facebook has plans to sell advertisements for games in the sidebar sometime in the future.

Facebook’s head of North American games partnership Dan Morris told TechCrunch, “It was sort of obvious once you look at the data about how people are actually using tablets for.”

The new feature is already available to a subset of iPad users as a test, but the company has plans to roll it out to all users soon. It will first be only available in the U.S. with a worldwide launch to follow.

There doesn’t seem to be any information as to creating a sidebar on the iPhone app, making these new features exclusive to the iPad. Since it’s launch, the iPad version of the official Facebook app has been little more than just a larger version of the iPhone app, even missing some cool messaging features. However, the upcoming game discovery features will give the iPad app something that no one else has.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik