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New Facebook sidebar promotes games

"Discover New Games" module may cut marketing costs to new users

A new Facebook sidebar module called Discover New Games is currently being beta tested, which will show which games friends are playing. Developers hope this will compensate for recent limits imposed on viral marketing.

According to website Inside Facebook the module displays the names and faces of friends who are playing any game that the user has not themselves installed. A thumbnail icon for the title is displayed along with a "Play Now" link to try the game.

The concept is similar to the long-standing People You May Know module, although generally other similar modules have been used only for top line Facebook information, rather than third-party software.

The module is likely to be welcomed by Facebook games developers, who last September were prevented from sending in-game status updates to all of a user's friends. Instead they are currently limited only to those friends who are also playing the same game.

Facebook does however allow a news feed for when a new game is installed. It also has featured placements on the Games Dashboard, for those companies that exclusively support its Facebook Credits system.