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Facebook wants to make it easier to find games

Gamers will see a shortcut pop up in the app's personalized navigation bar.


Facebook's gaming tab. 


Facebook users who play games on the social network will soon have a quicker way to view such content. 

The social network said Thursday that it's rolling out a gaming tab in the app's navigation bar, which appears at the top of the screen for Android and the bottom for iPhones. The shortcut will pop up only for people who spend time playing games, viewing gaming videos or interacting in gaming groups. 

Currently, users can access the gaming tab, but they have to click on Facebook's bookmarks menu and scroll through other icons to find it. 

Thursday's move highlights how Facebook, which has been hit by a number of scandals, is trying to get users to spend more time on the social network. It's also part of Facebook's efforts to give users more control over what they see on the app. 

Last year, Facebook redesigned the app's navigation bar to display personalized shortcuts for features people use the most. Those included the social network's video hub, Watch, along with Groups and Marketplace, where users buy and sell stuff. 

More than 700 million Facebook users play games, watch gaming videos or post in gaming groups. The gaming tab in the app's navigation bar will be released to tens of millions of people and then to others in the coming weeks, according to the company. Facebook looks at whether a user has played games, watched gaming videos or posted in gaming groups in the last 30 days to figure out whether the shortcut should pop up in the navigation bar. 

"As we learn from the community, we'll test new experiences in the tab, add more types of gaming content, and improve our content recommendations over time," Facebook's vice president of gaming, Vijaye Raji, wrote in a blog post.

The icon for the gaming tab looks like a blue cube made up of two puzzle pieces and also resembles the letter G. Facebook said the puzzle pieces are supposed to represent different gaming communities coming together in one place. 

Facebook's most popular games include Ludo Club, Quiz Planet, OMG, Words With Friends, Word Blitz, Basketball FRVR, Jumpy Jumpy, and 4 Pics 1 Word.