Facebook used to have a huge presence in gaming during the Farmville days, but today its not quite the gaming heavyweight it used to be. The social network hopes to change that with a focus on game streaming.
Facebook Gaming is a new app that aims to take on Twitch and YouTube for video game streaming dominance. With Facebook Gaming, you can watch other people play games, chat with others, stream games yourself, and play instant games without having to download them.
A focus of Facebook Gaming is making it easy for anyone to stream. A feature called Go Live will let you begin streaming mobile games directly from your device with just a few taps, and those streams can be shared to a personal Facebook page.
There's no advertising in Facebook Gaming right now, but you can send "stars" to streamers as a sort of tip. Facebook will take a small cut of those stars.
Facebook Gaming has been in testing in Southeast Asia and Latin America over the past 18 months. It was originally scheduled to launch in June (via The New York Times), but Facebook moved the app launch up to today because of the rise in gaming and game streaming due to the coronavirus pandemic and it forcing many people to stay home.
With so many people quarantining at home and looking for things to do, many people are learning more about game streaming and becoming interested in trying it out themselves. Facebook Gaming is all about making that whole process easier. We've seen Facebook dabble in game streaming in the past, but now it lives in a dedicated app that can let you stream a game from your phone easily rather than loading up special programs on your PC.
Facebook Gaming is now available for Android. It's coming to iOS, too, but isn't live on the App Store as of this post.