Facebook Removes Directory from Games Dashboard

Facebook quietly removed the game application directory at the bottom of its Games Dashboard last week, as Inside Social Games reader Josh pointed out. We asked Facebook why. The company says it is trying to “optimize performance”  on the dashboard, and it is “exploring ways to most efficiently bring it back.”

No one seems to be holding their breath.

The dashboard was introduced with the home page redesign last February as a link on the left-hand home page navigation column. A counter on it will show you the number of new activities you have a in a social game. Click on the dashboard and you can see links to your latest social game activity, your friends’ activity, and the games your friends are playing. The point is to break games out separately from all other applications, which can otherwise be found immediately above, in the main Applications Dashboard in the navigation column.

The game directory, located at the bottom of the Games Dashboard page, was going to be another way for users and social games to find each other. It included game genre nomenclature like “board” and “virtual world” drawn from existing categorization in its app directory.

Maybe the directory will come back, but if the example of the application directory is illustrative, it might not — at least not in its current form. The directory previously appeared as a link at the bottom of a pop-up window in the bottom toolbar on Facebook. But that toolbar went away in the new redesign, and the directory is no longer linked to from anywhere on Facebook’s main interface. But it’s still alive, and if you’re a user who wants to go look for new types of social games in directory format, you can here — you can even sort by those game categories, like before.

Ultimately, Facebook doesn’t want to be in the directory business. It much rather wants to optimize its much better ways of sharing information, like its news feed.

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14 Responses to “Facebook Removes Directory from Games Dashboard”

  1. Cameron Ellis says:

    You know what’s really interesting? FarmTown, the progenitor of the social farming genre, is no longer the 2nd biggest farm game. It was (recently?) surpassed by Country Life, which has been quietly gaining users. I would spend time writing about why I think it has been able to gain users despite any major viral tricks, but I think you guys could do a better job at this. Hint: you feed the cow grain, in order to get milk (instead of simply collecting milk)…

  2. Doug G. says:

    Am I the only one who can’t access the games dashboard at all? I haven’t been able to load that page in over a month on any browser. I get the Facebook “Oops Something went wrong” popup.

  3. Cameron Ellis says:

    Doug, you probably didn’t remove the period “.” from the link.

  4. Steve, Esq. says:

    Facebook’s move will hurt indie and small game developers.

    Small game developers with small marketing/ad budgets, to a large extent, depended on the games dashboard so that potential users could find them through the search function. [the dashboard allowed users to find games by "the most recent" or by "the most popular"]

    The games dashboard provided free advertising. so, what does this new change mean for game developers’ business model?

    It means that game developers, going forward, must spend more money on facebook ads and/or design even more viral features to grow their app (which may be difficult to implement, especially when developers want to avoid being spammy).

    Facebook’s change will largely benefit big players like Zynga, Lolapps, Playfish, EA, etc. that have sufficient budgets to throw at Facebook ads. Those small developers that are bootstrapped for cash will suffer tremendously.

    I truly believe that Facebook’s move will hurt the innovation that small developers bring to Facebook’s games.

    I hope that I’m wrong and more importantly, I hope that Facebook brings back the dashboard…

  5. Games Directory Mysteriously Missing From Facebook | Frisky Mongoose says:

    [...] Inside Social Games had a nice catch when they discovered that the Facebook Games Directory has gone missing from the Games Dashboard. Facebook has commented on the removal, simply stating that the company is trying to “optimize performance” on the dashboard and will “explore ways to most efficiently bring it back.” [...]

  6. Sebalou says:

    Steve is sooooo right….

    It’s killing us, the indie games developers…
    Facebook doesn’t say anything about it !

    Can’t you find more informations about what next ?

  7. Wooga’s Jens Begemann on Facebook Social Gaming: An Insider’s View from the Outside says:

    [...] for both discovery of new games (virality) and users returning to old games (engagement). So far the Games Dashboard has been a letdown, but we hope Facebook will take the opportunity and turn it into a driver of Facebook as a gaming [...]

  8. Axel says:

    Steve is right, they kill the independent low budget developers. Since Facebook removed the application Directory from Games Dashboard the number of visitors of my apps and games are less and less … I think it’s really not FAIR to do it silent, without discussion and without announcing it … the idea to allow a LOT of developers to develope apps and games for a platform made the facebook platform growing … it seems they have forgotten it … may be all the independent developers have to find (or build) another platform … any idea?

  9. Axel says:

    I made a simple app .. http://facebook.com/fbdirectory/ share it and like it … may be this way the directory will be alive

  10. Axel says:

    sorry http://apps.facebook.com/fbdirectory/ grrr

  11. Axel says:

    Finally Facbook brought back the directory to the games dashboard .. a small link at the bottom of the dashboard … it’s not as good as before, but better than nothing.

  12. Appbistro’s Facebook Page Tab Application Marketplace Gets a Verified Developer Program says:

    [...] don’t have inherent virality, it can be hard for admins to find them, especially since Facebook removed links to the Application Directory. The Verified Developer Program does not discriminate based on size, making it accessible to small [...]

  13. Facebook Scraps Little-Used App Directory, Simplifies App Submission to Search Index says:

    [...] Facebook gradually de-emphasized the directory over the years, and for more than a year has not linked to it from anywhere on the site that we know of. (The URL is still live as of publication, for those who [...]

  14. marjorie wright says:

    how do we get rid of dashboard ???????? I call it an invasion of privacy. I don’t want everyone to know what I am doing.
    It also slows down everything because it has to load every time you do anything.
    I AM SICK OF IT !!!!!!!!!!

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