Facebook is still a pawn when it comes to streaming platforms. The social media site may have witnessed year on year growth with gamers, but it still has a long way to go if it’s to challenge the likes of Twitch and YouTube Gaming. But that might change if Facebook’s new dedicated gaming app is successful.
The app, which is currently available on Android devices, curates and promotes streamers on the platform, while highlighting casual games users might be interested in. It also shows streams posted to groups that users are a part of. Facebook says this app will help bring people together as well as make streaming easier for everyone.
“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, tells the The New York Times via The Verge. “It’s entertainment that’s not just a form of passive consumption but entertainment that is interactive and brings people together.”
According to the report, Facebook has been testing the app in Southeast Asia and Latin America for the last 18 months, and had planned to roll it out to other regions in June. However, due to the current pandemic and the current focus on the gaming industry, Facebook decided to launch it earlier.
There’s no guarentee this will help Facebook grow its gaming section, though. Twitch has outlasted competition from YouTube, Mixer, and more, and it shows no sign of slowing down. The only thing in Facebook’s favour is that the app will make going live easier for those unfamiliar with streaming and that its new tournaments feature will help bring gaming communities together in new ways.