Facebook plans to take on Twitch and YouTube. On Monday, the tech giant launched Facebook Gaming, a mobile app where people will be able to stream and watch live gameplay. This mobile app is similar to that of Amazon’s Twitch, Google’s YouTube, and Microsoft’s Mixer. The sudden uproar in demand for gaming live streams pushed Facebook to create Facebook Gaming.
According to The New York Times, the app has already been available in Southeast Asia and Latin America. However, the 18 months of its availability isn’t the final version of the app but a trial. The app is similar to the Gaming Tab on Facebook’s social media as both allow its users to broadcast or watch streames play games. Facebook’s gaming tab and Facebook gaming are still far behind that of Twitch and YouTube. According to Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet, the firm’s game streaming platform accumulated 554 million hours of viewing time in the first quarter of 2020. YouTube places second with 1.1 billion watch hours, and Twitch lands first with 3.2 billion viewing times.
CNBC confirmed the news and reported it on their site.
Facebook gaming features a “Go Live” function that allows users to livestream mobile games directly. It eliminates the need for third-party software and hardware. The “Go Live” function si an edge as platforms such as YouTube and Twitch require third-party software and hardware.
However, the current challenge that Facebook is facing is that of the app’s monetization. Facebook gaming does not have ads in the app that limits monetization. The social media giant is patching this up using “stars.” Stars allow fans to make one-time payments to support their favorite streamers. Facebook promises to find more ways to monetize Facebook Gaming.
Facebook’s research says that over 700 million users already interact with the gaming content on Facebook’s main app. They hope that this can pave the way for Facebook Gaming to gain considerable traction. The app will be available on the Google Play app store. The iOS version is currently a work in progress and will be released at a later date.