Just days after launching their all new App Center, Facebook is apparently testing a fairly direct way to get users playing games on the site.
Facebook has always suggested games to users via the "Games you may like" box that you may notice from time to time while browsing the site. It's housed over on the right, near the ads and the "People you may know" box. It's just Facebook's way to suggest things to you based on your previous activity and your friends' activity.
But now, Facebook is testing taking a more direct approach to the "Game you may like" suggestions by sending them to you as a notification. And these notifications are definitely from Facebook. They are different from the app request notifications that you commonly receive from friends.
Here's what an app request from a user looks like:
And courtesy of Inside Facebook, here's Facebook's test message that is going out to some users. "Play Now!"
Facebook has confirmed this test, saying, "We are testing this feature as part of ongoing tests to help people discover and reengage with apps and games and drive meaningful traffic to developers."
As of right now, this is only a test and is only being seen in a small number of users. It will be interesting to see the reaction from users if this spreads to a larger audience. It's possible that they could be less-than-thrilled about the admittedly spammy possibilities of these "app suggestion" notifications. Then again, if they are used sparingly enough, it might be nice for some users to see a game or app that five of their friends have been playing. In that instance, it actually could help discovery.