In its effort to take on Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube, Facebook is set to launch a dedicated mobile gaming app today (20th April 2020).
With millions of people confined in their homes owing to the ongoing pandemic, the usage of video and streaming services has spiked over the past few months. Recognizing the opportunity, the social media giant has decided to prepone the launch of its dedicated gaming application dubbed ‘Facebook Gaming.’ The Menlo Park firm was supposed to launch the application in June initially.
From the looks of it, Facebook is rolling out the gaming-focused application for a larger market share in the $160 billion industry as the firm struggles to grow as compared to Twitch and YouTube.
For now, the application will be launched for Android only and will include casual games like Words with Friends as well as access to gaming communities. The application will also come with a Go-Live feature that will allow users to live mobile stream games in just a few clicks. Moreover, the application will be ad-free, for now at least. The company plans on making money through viewer “stars” somewhat similar to how Twitch operates. As far as the iOS application is concerned, it will be rolled out as soon as it is approves.
Talking to the New York Times, Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, said:
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.
Here, it is imperative to note that Twitch and YouTube still dominate the industry. Twitch commanded 61% of hours watched in December 2019, and YouTube maintained 28% of the market.