Trying to compete with both Youtube and Twitch’s streaming platforms for the gaming community, Facebook will be coming out with a new mobile gaming app. Their move into the video game business is due to people seeking entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Facebook already has more than 700 million of its 2.5 billion monthly users already engaged with gaming content on their platform, the new app will largely target and focus on the existing streaming community, and even highlighting casual games like ‘Words with Friends’.
“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,” said Head of the Facebook app Fidji Simo.
“There are a lot of people who listen to music and say, ‘I can imagine myself being a musician. People are watching streams and they’re like, ‘I want to be a streamer,’ and with Go Live it’s literally just a few clicks and then live, you’re a streamer,” said Facebook Gaming’s Vice President Vivek Sharma.
Sharma also added that the mobile experience is more intense than computer viewing, “We don’t want to be the background window in a Chrome tab while someone is doing their homework or doing something else. With mobile, if you have the app open and you’re using the app, it’s in the foreground. You can’t do anything else on your mobile phone, and that is extremely powerful.”
Although Facebook was a top gaming platform during the FarmVille era a decade ago, in the game streaming market, Facebook is currently No. 3 in total hours watched, behind YouTube and Twitch.
The Facebook Gaming app is currently available for pre-registration if you’re on Android and is said to launch the app sometime today (20th April 2020). The iOS versions of the app will be released upon Apple’s approval.