The social media giant, Facebook, launched an independent gaming app on Monday to allow the users to create and watch live game streams. The app will most likely compete against Amazon’s Twitch, Microsoft’s Mixer, and Google’s YouTube.
For the past 18 months, the app has been available for testing in Southeast Asia and Latin America. The gaming tab on the Facebook website provides a similar interface that allows users to watch or broadcast streamers playing games. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play app store, with the support for iOS coming later in the year.
Facebook Gaming also includes a ‘Go Live’ feature, which allows users to stream mobile games directly on Facebook from their mobile phones. This setup removes the need for separate software and hardware, which people typically use to broadcast on platforms such as Twitch.
At present, Facebook has not included any advertising in the app, and it is quite restricted in monetization. However, it helps people to gain money from so-called ‘stars,’ who require fans to pay once. The company states that more monetizing opportunities should be pursued in the long term.
Fidji Simo, Head of the Facebook Gaming app, earlier quoted to New York Times, “Investing in gaming, in general, has become a priority for us because we see gaming as a form of entertainment that really connects people. It’s entertainment that’s not just a form of passive consumption but entertainment that is interactive and brings people together.”
This move will be further accompanied by the new Facebook gaming framework, which will provide more ways of getting gamers involved. At the same time, the expansion of its VR resources over time will continue to strengthen Facebook gaming credentials.
Facebook has released a number of game-related resources and products over the last several years, including live streaming for gamers and the ability to stream easily through screen overlays via gameplay footage. Facebook recently introduced a new, simpler alternative for creating amateur gaming events in the app.