The coronavirus pandemic has pushed people to extremes. As people are self-isolating at home, business and entertainment have both moved to the digital platform. Thus, everything from video conferencing apps to media streaming apps – everything is having a field day. However, at this time, there clearly is a dearth of streaming platforms for the gaming community. Other than Twitch and YouTube, there isn’t much competition in the sector. But Facebook is all set to change that.
The social media giant is all set to launch its own dedicated mobile gaming app starting Monday, April 20. The app will largely focus on the streaming community but will also take into account casual games that people already play online.
The app is supposed to only be available to Android users at the moment. However, it will be available to iOS users once Apple gives the green light.
The app is primarily focused on watching live streams or starting one. The app, which will be available worldwide on April 20, has already come out in India and in some Southeast Asian and Latin American countries. The company was testing the app in these countries for the past 18 months.
“Investing in gaming, in general, has become a priority for us because we see gaming as a form of entertainment that really connects people,” head of the Facebook app, Fidji Simo, was quoted as saying by 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,” he added.
Although the app was originally supposed to come out in June, Facebook probably took a look at the current world scenario and realised the potential of the app in this market.
The app is expected to solve the streaming hassles of platforms like Twitch while catering to smartphone users who enjoy gaming on their phones.
The Facebook gaming app comes with a Go Live button which lets users start a game and start streaming at the blink of an eye. This button is available in a carousel which also includes options such as Clips, Following, Follow Games and Groups. Other than that, the Go Live button, when accessed for the first time, asks users to add games which are already installed on their phones. Once that is done, the game will launch using the app and the live stream will also begin. A rectangular Live button will also be available on the screen.
For all of this to happen though, you need to have a Facebook account, of course. Once that is done, you can choose games to follow, and also choose to follow popular streamers.
There are many other functionalities of the app which can definitely compete against biggies such as Twitch and YouTube in the gaming wars (if that’s a thing at the moment). Since live-streaming is a booming industry and the huge increase in demand at the moment, Facebook is hoping to have a piece of the pie which was previously mostly left untouched.