While there are so many people that turn to video games to pass the time indoors, Facebook has decided to release a new dedicated mobile app for Facebook Gaming a few months ahead of schedule and is trying to capitalize on this sudden surge of viewership mostly seen on livestream platforms just like Twitch or YouTube.
This free app is said to launch on Monday in Google's Play Store, according to the New York Times, and a following iOS version is said to launch as soon as "Apple approves them."
Facebook's reach into the gaming industry
While Facebook itself took a recent foray into the whole $160 billion gaming industry that was originally set to debut back in June. Now, the company has decided to bump up the release date after "a big rise in gaming during quarantine" was noticed, according to the head of the Facebook Gaming app Fidji Simo in an interview with the Times.
Simo said that Facebook's investment in the gaming industry has become a priority for them since they were reportedly able to "see gaming as a form of entertainment that really connects people," continuing by saying that it is interactive entertainment that actually brings people together."
Right now, you are still able to watch and stream games through the main Facebook app, but even with Facebook's own 2.5 billion monthly users, it still seems to struggle with its competition. The biggest contenders already have a huge chunk of the market and it seems like quite a challenge for Facebook to be able to transfer some of their users to users of their gaming app as well.
Facebook Gaming compared to its competition
According to Streamlabs themself, Facebook Gaming is currently number three when it comes to total hours watched right below Google's YouTube Gaming along with Amazon's Twitch. Right now, it lags even further when it comes to the amount of content it offers, with Facebook Gaming only averaging less than 5% compared of the total 121.4 million hours that were streamed on Twitch so far this year.
Through the release of this Facebook app, the company hopes to carve out a much bigger foothold by focusing the content that is often overlooked on these platforms, and that is mobile gaming. It is quite a smart move by Facebook to leverage its platform's massive mobile audience while avoiding a tug-of-war over the prominent PC as well as console gamers, which seems to be happening to both Twitch and Microsoft's competitor known as Mixer.
The users will then be able to stream their own play sessions through the app with a simple click of the "Go Live" button. This could be a huge advantage since other platforms still require a third-party software in order for them to be able to stream mobile games since they are still primarily focused on supporting PC players.
It seems like Facebook has found a treasure in the gaming market that could be up for grabs!