Doodle Draw

We’ve talked previously about Facebook’s interest in launching playable games on its popular Messenger app, although no timetable was given when it came to when they would actually arrive. However, it appears that the revolution is starting sooner rather than later — with Doodle Draw Game leading the charge.

TechCrunch has reported that the first game for Facebook Messenger has arrived, the aforementioned Doodle {link no longer active}. The game works like the classic Pictionary (or the more popular mobile game Draw Something), where users can doodle pictures while chatting with others in the service. The app is available in the overflow menu, although the general Messenger app must first be downloaded either on Google Play or the App Store.

Previously, Facebook was only interested in content creation tools or meme generators in its Messenger app, so users could send more personalized messages to one another. However, with the introduction of this game, a whole new avenue could open up for similar apps — although it doesn’t appear Facebook wants to go too overboard on games just yet.

It provides the company the opportunity to compete with other chat services that launched games with their apps, including Viber, WeChat and Line, though its effectiveness has yet to be gauged, since Doodle did just launch. However, considering that millions of people use Messenger on a daily basis, it shouldn’t take long for virtual drawings to start making the rounds.

One thing to watch out for is an overabundance in spam messages, which some games on Facebook have been prone to. “But done wrong, these games could spawn Messenger spam the same way Facebook desktop games polluted the News Feed,” said TechCrunch reporter Josh Constine. “Companies like Zynga developed exploitative game mechanics where you earned in-game rewards for inviting friends and pestering them to play with requests and News Feed posts. It got so bad that Facebook almost entirely shut off these viral channels to avoid ruining the feed for everyone, and social game companies were hit hard by their diminished ability to recruit new users.”

We’ll see just how far Doodle goes with it success — and how carefully Facebook can gauge it.