This is only a test but you can bet it’s here to stay. Facebook for iPad latest US update now shows, in landscape mode, a new column on the right, next to the news feed.
It features four sections:
- Trending topics: a short list of topics which are hot on Facebook, but supposedly skewed towards your own interests (this is the same “Trending topics” section launched earlier on Facebook.com)
- Tending videos: a personalized selection of the most shared videos
- My games: notifications from games you already played
- Popular games: a list of suggested games, based on what your friends and Facebook users in general have been playing.
To be clear, the games highlighted in the two last sections are iPad games. Tapping on one should then launch the corresponding game app, out of Facebook.
Games must implement Facebook login to be featured in these sections. Publishers will certainly see the new sections as a strong incentive to use Facebook login in their games.
The sidebar includes no advertising yet. But it will certainly be considered as premium placement and, as game ads have fueled a mobile revenue explosion for Facebook, we’re sure to see some form of ad spot for game publishers in this space in the future.