Facebook Now Shows Friends' Game Playing

Facebook has begun testing a new viral sidebar showing which friends play a particular game.

Blogger Josh Constine calls this free feature Facebook’s effort to compensate for some of the virality taken off the site over the course of the year. This newest box labeled “Discover New Games” shows up on the right-hand side of a user’s page, in the same area where you might otherwise see the “People You May Know” box.

This new box displays the name and picture of friends who are playing a game you haven’t installed yet. Facebook hopes that users will regard “Discover New Games” as implicit endorsements and try new games that their friends are already playing.

Until just recently, Facebook published game activity to a user’s feed so that all friends could see. But in September, the site changed that to only show gaming updates to people already playing the game. This change came about as a result of many people blocking certain applications.

It will be interesting to see whether this test blossoms into a feature that gets rolled out to all users, making it more cost effective to market games on Facebook.

Which games do you prefer to play on Facebook, and how does that compare to what your friends like?

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