The new Facebook Gaming app makes it easier for gamers to stream and watch video games
Facebook is going all-in on mobile games.
UPDATE 8/31/2022 10:30 AM ET: Facebook is killing the Facebook Gaming app on iOS and Android later in 2022.
It’s been nearly two years since Facebook launched its livestreaming game service, which launched as fb.gg. Now there’s a standalone app, also called Facebook Gaming, that will make it easier for content creators to go live. It’s currently only available for Android, with an iOS version coming “once Apple has approved it,” according to The New York Times.
Facebook has lofty aspirations for the Gaming app, which enters a market dominated by the big two – Twitch and YouTube. With browser-based watch time of Facebook Gaming already being in third place according to StreamLabs, can a dedicated app that helps with discovery change that?
Facebook’s app does things slightly differently from its competition, focusing on helping creators stream mobile games straight from their smartphones. With a few taps, you can stream games from your device to your personal Facebook page, or play any of the “casual” games that are already included in the app.
Will this take off in the U.S.? Maybe, but that’s likely not the main target for Facebook. Courtesy of Dgit’s daily digest email this morning: “Facebook has been testing this app: Asia and Latin America, for 18-months already. And that’s where it could take off: lower-cost mobile devices offer the dominant way for people to get online. Facebook usage is high in these countries, and mobile gaming is the only way to play for many.”
With that knowledge, the push for a mobile-first, app-based version of Facebook Gaming starts to make perfect sense. I mean, the competition is terrible on mobile, with most U.S. viewers I know opting to watch through their desktop browser, often on a second screen while they do other tasks. Taking the battle elsewhere should pay off for Facebook.
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