Facebook may not be as popular when it comes to streaming platforms for gamers, but it looks like they are looking to change that. The social network is on the verge of unveiling its new streaming app dedicated to the gaming community, set to take on the likes of Twitch. The app will not just focus on big AAA games but also casual ones that people are already playing online on their smartphones.
As reported by The New York Times, the platform is set to launch on April 20th and will be available for Android users first. This is planned to change later and move over to iOS devices once “Apple approves them”.
With the current surge in live streams and the constant growth in viewership on other platforms, Facebook does feel like it is the perfect time to launch the app. The date was actually changed to meet current demand as it had been planned to kickstart in June this year.
“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.”
Currently, YouTube and Twitch still dominate the industry and will be expected to do so for some time. Following closely behind is Microsoft’s Mixer that has been claiming impressive numbers since last year. But it will certainly be interesting to see what Facebook’s product will be bringing to the table when it comes to tools that streamers and viewers need.
One that is expected to show up is the “Go Live” button that the company says will “let users upload streams of other mobile games on the same device by pressing just a few buttons”. Once people are live, streams will appear on their personal pages, making it easier for friends and followers to watch. Like YouTube and Twitch, Facebook does promise to offer monetization to some of its streamers.
“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,” Vivek Sharma, Facebook’s vice president for gaming, told the Times.