Facebook's Messenger app has come a long way since it was first released in 2011. From a simple text and voice messaging service, it has come to include several new features designed to help enhance user experience, such video calls, Uber ride support and even an AI virtual assistant.
Now, the popular social network has introduced a quirky new add-on to the Messenger service: a secret mini-game that lets people play hoops with friends.
The crude yet surprisingly entertaining game allows users to shoot basketballs through a hoop. Once the player makes 10 straight field goals, the backboard then starts moving to make it more difficult to shoot into the basket. The basketball is also placed at different locations on screen.
Players can also challenge their friends to find out who can make the most number of field goals in a row.
This simple pop-a-shot game can be activated by typing in the basketball emoji on Messenger and sending it to others.
Facebook has been experimenting with different add-ons to its messaging service in recent years. In 2015, the company launched a similar mini-game involving chess. This can be accessed by typing in "@fbchess play" in the message box.
To move various chess pieces on the board, players can use standard algebraic notations prefaced with the command "@fbchess".
The chess pieces are designated using the first letter of their titles, with "P" for pawns, "R" for rooks, "B" for bishops, "Q" for the queen, "K" for the king and "N" for knights. The tiles on the board are designated from A-H and 1-8.
For example, if players want to move their pawn (P) on the B column one spot forward, they would have to enter "@fbchess Pb3".
Other commands for the game include "@fbchess resign" to end an ongoing match, "@fbchess stats" to check the statistics from previous games and "@fbchess play black" and "@fbchess play white" to choose the color with which a player wants to start.
Players can also type in "@fbchess help" to view the instructions of the game.
Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr