At a time like now, when people have been forced into their homes, streaming content is catching fire and reaching heights it never had. Seeing this rise in demand, Facebook decided to prepone the launch of its gaming app, which is now available on Play store. Originally, the company was planning to launch the app in June.
The app is now available for android devices, will soon make its way to iOS. First reports came from an exclusive by The New York Times. The app’s main focus will be on streaming and social engagement, though Facebook says that it will also allow people to discover games, both through your friends’ activities and a by category breakdown. Lastly, like every app ever, the platform will have a chat function.
“Investing in gaming in general has become a priority for us because we see gaming as a form of entertainment that really connects people,” Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, told the New York Times. “It’s entertainment that’s not just a form of passive consumption but entertainment that is interactive and brings people together.”
Facebook’s gaming business has been growing for sometime, even though it pales in comparison to Twitch and Youtube. Still, around 700 million people logged into gaming activities out of the 2.5 billion users that are on Facebook. Moreover, the increasing demand for gaming on Facebook lead to a 210 percent increase in hours watched between December 2018 and December 2019, according to The Verge. The number of streamers also increased by 6%, while the average number of viewers per hour streamed increased by 78%.
Facebook has been investing money in the business, partnering with streaming giants and celebrities. The company also brought UFC champion Ronda Rousey for gaming sessions on the platform to increase viewership. Facebook also partnered with famous personalities from its rival platforms as well, including former Twitch streamer Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios and YouTube personality Corinna Kopf.
The app will try to compete with established names like Twitch and Youtube by bringing a ‘Go Live’ button, which will help streamers do just that, in a single click. This will provide convenient access to aspiring streamers and make it easier for them to adapt to the new environment. Moreover, the company’s continued investment in the field, combined with the astronomical base of users on its main app, can help Facebook take the edge in the industry in the future.