On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it was expanding its mobile empire with Facebook Mobile Games Publishing. The company's new pilot program intends to help small developers promote games for Facebook, as well as grow the social media network's huge mobile portfolio.

Facebook already has some big, popular games on its resume, courtesy of large game developers like Zynga, famous for FarmVille and Words With Friends. But smaller game developers have an exposure problem on the social media giant's network. That's what Facebook Mobile Games Publishing intends to help with.

In the announcement on Facebook's developers page, Facebook's Victor Medeiros explained what the program aims to do. The initiative is "a new pilot program to help small and medium sized developers take their mobile games global. Through the program, we will work with select game developers and provide promotional support for their games in placements across our mobile apps," wrote Medeiros. "This will bring new, high-quality mobile games to the millions of Facebook users who love to play games."

Facebook has more than 800 million users that open Facebook mobile apps every month, and more than 260 million Facebook users play games on the network. The games publishing initiative will help target users for various games that they might like, for a price. "We are invested in the success of these games, and in exchange for a revenue share, we will be collaborating deeply with developers in our program by helping them attract high-quality, long-term players for their games," wrote Medeiros. Facebook will also be sharing its analytics tools to help its partnered developers target their audience more effectively.

The company, according to Gamasutra, has not yet disclosed what the terms of its revenue share agreements are with developers under the new program.  So far, Facebook has announced 10 Facebook games, by 10 different developers, that have signed up for the program:

Dawn of the Dragons, an RPG card battle game by 5th Planet
Dr. Newton: The Great Brain Adventure, a puzzle-adventure game by Brainbow
Age of Booty: Tactics, a pirate-themed strategy game by Certain Affinity
Live Hold'Em, a poker game by Dragonplay
Kingdoms & Lords, Gameloft's medieval-themed strategy game
Train City, a city-building sim by Gamevil
Shipwrecked, KiwiGames' quest-based explorer
Monster Legacy, the battling adventure-explorer by Outplay Entertainment
Samurai Siege, Space Ape's multiplayer combat strategy game
WINDrunner, an endless-runner by WeMade Entertainment

Gamasutra talked to Dan Morris, the leader of Facebook Mobile Games Publishing at a gaming conference in San Francisco, asking about why Facebook thought the program was necessary, especially because developers could ostensibly buy targeted ads on the network to accomplish the same task. Morris responded that smaller developers are "not necessarily the best-equipped companies to compete in some of the existing channels." Meaning that, unless you're Zynga or Gameloft (the second of which is still partnering with the program to promote its new game) you don't really have the money to buy ads, and there's no other great system for discovering your games. "It's a response to a really obvious pain point in the ecosystem," said Morris to Gamasutra, "So we've been working in pretty close coordination with a small number of pilot partners to see if we can offer that path, and so far the early results are pretty encouraging."

Facebook's program is more of a promotional effort than a developing partnership. The company isn't funding games from the ground up, and the intiative isn't a new gaming platform, so there's no "special API" or any software developers kits that developers need to use to change their games. As long as the games work with Facebook and they share their revenue, the social media giant will be "using a range of channels to promote games to Facebook users who haven't seen them before," says Morris.

However, the program is still in its pilot stage, so don't expect to see an influx of new, never-before-heard-of games on your Facebook page any time soon.