New Gaming App to be Launched by Facebook to take on Twitch, YouTube

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It is no secret that Twitch, an online video streaming platform, is the most popular online space for gamers who want to share their gameplays with their followers. Founded in 2005 by Justin Kan, Twitch had its humble beginnings as a startup that Kan founded while studying at Yale for a physics ad psychology degree. From this humble beginning, Twitch was bought by Amazon for $970 million, and it became one of the largest online video streaming platforms around the world.

On the other hand, YouTube has a fair share of popularity when it comes to game streaming. In 2015, YouTube launched what they called YouTube Gaming in hopes of competing with Twitch. And while it was not able to win over Twitch’s popularity among streamers, it was still able to become a popular platform for people who are into gaming.

Now, Facebook also has its own efforts to enter the streaming world with its newly-launched Facebook Gaming. The gaming app that Facebook will launch is curated for and will focus on the streaming community. Still, it would also highlight casual games that are already being played online, such as Words with Friends. 

The Gaming investments of Facebook

The app was launched on the 20th of April and is still only available for Android users. Besides, the company is also planning to launch a version of the app that is compatible with iOS once Apple approves them.

Along with the continuous growth of Facebook Gaming is the current surge in the viewership and streaming count now that governments impose lockdowns and home quarantine due to pandemics. For this reason, the company feels as if now is the best time for them to launch the app. Initially, the gaming app was supposed to be launched in June. However, Facebook moved it into an earlier date to meet current demand.

The Facebook app head Fidi Simo said that investing in gaming became a priority for the company. This is because they see gaming as a form of entertainment that carries the ability to connect people. Additionally, Simo said that the entertainment that gaming provides is not just a form of passive consumption. Instead, it was a form of entertainment that is interactive and can bring people together. 

Facebook has already invested in gaming for years. Besides, it exerted efforts in building a streaming community through partnerships with various creators as well as hosting esports tournaments. However, despite the said social media platform’s massive user base, it still falls behind Twitter, another social media platform owned by Amazon, and YouTube, whose parent company is Google, when hours of gameplay watched is considered.

Get Ready to Go Live!

But Facebook Gaming is still growing. In fact, StreamElementsrecorded a total increase of 210 percent in Facebook Gaming’s total hours watched between December 2018 and December 2019. Notably, StreamElements is a streaming software company that conducts the streaming industry’s regular reports along with Arsena.gg, its analytics partner. 

Streaming content on Facebook noted an increase of six percent in the number of streamers. It also noted an overall increase of 78 percent in the average number of viewers for every hour streamed during the same time frame. Twitch and YouTube’s strategy, where they get exclusive partnerships with top talents, was followed by Facebook. Facebook Gaming has already partnered with the former streamer Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, YouTube influencer Corubba Kopf, as well as Ronda Rousey, a former UFC champion.

According to the CEO of SreamElements Doron Nir, Facebook Gaming has been making significant steps as they leverage their presence worldwide and acquire strategic talents to improve their market share within the live streaming space. Nir added that by adding a famous celebrity who is very interested in gaming like Ronda Rousey into Facebook Gaming’s roster, it made a great move because while content is king, it would need a kingdom to make the content matter. 

Streaming dominance is still held by Twitch and YouTube. In 2019, Twitch recorded a total of 61 percent of hours watched while 21 percent of the market was garnered by YouTube. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Mixer holds fourth place, which is under three percent of all the hours spent in watching live streams. 

How Facebook Gaming tries to make streaming easier with its Go Live button 

Furthermore, Facebook holds the new tools that could help it take dominance from YouTube and Twitch. Facebook now has a Go Live button that makes it a lot easier for gamers to start streaming. The said Go Live button allows users to upload their streams of other mobile games installed on the same device by just pressing a few buttons. Once they go live, their streams will be available to watch on their personal pages, making it easier for friends and followers to watch them. Similar to Twitch and YouTube, Facebook also offers monetization to qualified streamers. While Twitch has what it calls affiliate status and YouTube has a Partner Program, Facebook Gaming has what it calls Level Up, which is designed to let content creators monetize.

Vivek Sharma, the vice president for gaming Facebook, said that they noticed that people are watching streams, and it influences them to become streamers. Now that Go Live is available whenever and wherever they are, they only need to click a few buttons to go live, and then they are already streamers. 

The current statistics suggest that live streaming is booming. Furthermore, what is evident is that Facebook is trying to meet the increasing demand using the brand new project that it has recently launched. 

Date: May 19, 2020 / Categories: YouTube, / Author: E O

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