Facebook Takes On Twitch and YouTube With A Dedicated Gaming App

When it comes to giving competitions, Facebook is that one technology-oriented company that leaves no chance to make its mark in anything that is trending. Hence, going forward with their similar philosophy the social media giant is now all ready to compete with Twitch and YouTube in the streaming platforms race for gaming community with a special gaming app.

Facebook’s gaming app is built with a focus on the streaming community, while also including the casual games that people love to play online already like Words with Friends. The app is currently available for Android devices, while Facebook claims that "iOS version is in the works".

Facebook had previously planned to introduce the app in June but after the recent hike in gaming activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic all around the world, the company has rushed towards making it ready to meet up the current demand and serve as a great alternative for people who want to try out more gaming platforms.

According to Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, investing in gaming has become the topmost priority for the social media company. Facebook believes gaming is turning out to be a form of entertainment that can bring more people together and therefore they have always wanted to cash out on that. However, their massive investment in the field for the past years, even in partners who either worked as creators or to help the company in hosting eSports tournaments, hasn’t still been able to gather the attention of the gaming community the way Twitch and YouTube enjoys.

Facebook currently has 2.5 billion monthly users and that means there is are chances that they can increase the number of hours of gameplay watched easily.

While the situation is of course pretty challenging, Facebook, on the other hand, has been performing really well statistically. There was a 210 percent increase in hours watched in between the time period of December 2018 and December 2019. Furthermore a report from streaming software company StreamElements, along with its analytics partner Arsenal.gg also showed that Facebook also experienced a six percent increase in the total number of streamers and 78 percent increase in the average number of viewers per hour streamed in the similar time frame.

This success has majorly come after how Facebook started to follow into footsteps of Twitch and YouTube and collaborated with exclusive mainstream talent, including former Twitch streamer Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, YouTube personality Corinna Kopf, and former UFC champion, Ronda Rousey.

But all that is still way behind Twitch and YouTube as the former has recently continued to dominate with 61 percent of hours watched in December 2019, while YouTube is going well with having the other 28 percent of the market. On fourth stands, Microsoft’s Mixer that has only three percent of all hours spent by people on live streams.

Facebook has imitated YouTube and Twitch when it comes to offering the monetization option in the name of “Level Up” program to some of the top streamers. And just when that wasn’t enough to shake the dominance of its competitors, the company has plans to make starting the streaming more easier for its users with the addition of a readily available “Go-Live” button - a function that will let streamers upload the gameplay of other mobile games on the similar device, all with just a few taps away always. Hence, when the stream goes live it will appear on their personal pages from where friends or followers can continue watching.

For now, the first question stands as will Facebook be successfully able to cope up with the increasing demand for gaming?



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