Facebook is adding fantasy sports-like prediction games that will let users guess what’s going to happen in sports, TV shows, and pop culture. The new games, called Facebook Fantasy Games, are rolling out first on the iOS and Android apps for users in the US and Canada.
The first game available is Pick & Play Sports, a daily sports prediction game it made in partnership with Whistle Sports. (It was already available in the iOS app for me, so it might be for you, too.) In the “upcoming months,” Facebook plans to release additional games for TV shows like The Bachelorette and Survivor, sports leagues like Major League Baseball, and one made with BuzzFeed. Games will have public leaderboards, but you can also make your own public or private leagues if you want to compete with smaller groups or just talk trash.
The games don’t appear to have features that let you put real money on the line, though, so if you want to get into wagers, you’re going to have to handle those transactions yourself. It also doesn’t seem like Facebook is offering traditional fantasy sports leagues right now. But this could be Facebook’s first toe in the water to compete with big fantasy sports entities like DraftKings and ESPN.
Facebook has been expanding more into gaming as of late in an effort to keep people using its services. The company launched a web app for its cloud gaming service in July to get around Apple’s App Store rules and let iOS users to try it out. It also offers a Twitch-like streaming service, Facebook Gaming. These new fantasy games offer something different than those more traditional gaming offerings, but they are perhaps a better fit for the social network — it seems easy to share a bold pick on your feed and wait for the reactions to roll in.