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You can play Space Invaders and Pac-Man on Facebook starting today

Facebook Messenger already has a bunch of hidden games buried inside the app, but it’s now getting a fully-fledged gaming hub for battling your friends.

Starting today, Facebook Messenger users will be able to play a selection of games built right into the app, including well-known titles like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Words With Friends. It’s part of a new update that just went live for iOS and Android users, and is initially available in 30 countries, including the UK.

To access the game, all you need to do is dive into a conversation on the latest version of the app, and then tap on the game controller icon – it’s located just below where you type your message. You’ll then be prompted to choose one of several games, which should launch right away.

“The one billion people who use Messenger every month connect, debate, and share in sop many ways,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “Now they can connect and compete over their favourite games. We think this is just the beginning for games on Messenger – look for new titles to be added, and for new ways to play. Game on!”

Facebook will be offering score-based league tables, in-context chat, and group thread conversations for challenging, celebrating, and congratulating your friends. Only the people you’re playing with in Messenger will be able to see your scores, and your top score will only be visible to your friends – so the whole word won’t have to know how bad you are at Pac-Man.

Facebook Messenger first launched as a service back in 2011, but was removed from the Facebook app proper in 2014, forcing users to download a secondary Messenger app. Since then, the standalone Messenger app has grown in popularity, with Facebook reporting that it services over one billion users every month. And just last month, Facebook launched a ‘Lite’ version of the app to attract users in places where internet infrastructure is poor – launch countries included Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela.

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