The New York Times reports that Facebook is planning to release an all-new Gaming app for iPhone and Android. The Android app could be released as early as tomorrow, April 20, and the iOS version will be released as soon as Apple approves the app.
The app will allow Facebook users to watch and create live game streams, which means that Facebook plans to compete with Google’s YouTube, Amazon’s Twitch and Microsoft’s Mixer services. It doesn’t come as a surprise as creating and watching live gameplay, has become very popular. It is exploding during the pandemic as people are forced to stay at home in most countries.
Facebook has been testing the app in South East Asia and Latin America for the last 18 months, and was planning to release it in June, but it has decided to release the app much earlier due to rise in gaming during the lockdown.
The New York Times provides the following details about Facebook’s new gaming app:
Viewers currently watch Facebook game streaming with the core Facebook app and on the new app in the developing markets where it’s already available.
The new app includes casual games and access to gaming communities, but its fate will depend largely on how successfully it entices people to watch and create live game streams. A function called Go Live lets users upload streams of other mobile games on the same device by pressing just a few buttons.
Those streams can then be shared to someone’s personal Facebook page, potentially making it much easier for people to become amateur streamers.
Facebook doesn’t plan to use ads to monetise the platform, instead, it will take a commission when viewers send “stars,” representing digital currency, to streamers.
It will be interesting to see if it helps Facebook to beat YouTube and Twitch with its new gaming app. According to Streamlabs, Facebook was at No. 3 in total hours watched, behind YouTube and Twitch in the last quarter.
What do you think? Are you excited about Facebook’s new gaming app or you plan to switch to YouTube or Twitch? Let us know in the comments below.[Via The New York Times]