In April 2020, Facebook was in a hurry to launch its gaming service. The apparent quick decision to offer Facebook gaming at that time could have been linked to the pandemic, which saw many people stuck at home. Facebook launched a mobile app called ‘Facebook Gaming App’ and this was seen as a direct challenge to Twitch.
The Twitch platform is well known for allowing creators to play video games and chat while users of the website watch. The Facebook Gaming App offers the same service. So, it is not really a place where you can go to play games, it is more an app that allows you to watch other gamers playing games, usually to a professional level. When launching the Facebook Gaming App, the company said, “The Facebook Gaming app is a focused, gaming-only experience where you can watch your favorite streamers, play instant games and take part in gaming groups,” before continuing, “It’s all of Facebook Gaming in one neat, app-sized package.”
Facebook was planning to launch its gaming service in June. The company was happy to admit they rushed the launch because they figured people would want to take advantage of the service when they had little else to do.
Fast forward to the end of 2021 and Facebook Gaming was slowly growing and taking some of the market shares away from Twitch. For those who are looking to grow a new streaming channel, Facebook Gaming is a good platform because it has over 2 billion people but fewer active streaming accounts than Twitch, providing the streamer with an advantage.
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Promotion and outreach are easier when using Facebook Gaming than Twitch and for newcomers to online streaming, using Facebook Gaming is a good idea. It is possible to post news of an upcoming stream to a timeline or Facebook page and this is a wonderful way to advertise a stream and attract viewers. Facebook also makes it easy for you to share your streaming content with friends, giving you additional reach and exposure.
Choox TV, Akosi Dogie, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Stone Mountain 64, Kristine Santamena, Gina Darling, Disguised toast, Thinnd, and Corinna Kopf are among the most popular streamers on Facebook Gaming. They each have over 1 million followers, with Choox TV boasting over 10 million followers on Facebook alone. Some of the games streamers play on Facebook include Smash Brothers, Overwatch, Escape from Tarkov, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Apex Legends, Final Fantasy VII, Minecraft, and League of Legends to name but a few.
One element that appears to be missing from Facebook Gaming is casino and slot game streaming. Twitch allows users to watch the streaming of new and classic live casino games, something which Facebook has yet to add to its service. A quick search for slots or casino games on the Facebook gaming platform comes up dry and this is something they might want to investigate in the future.
Despite the successful launch of Facebook Gaming in 2020, Twitch remains the largest online streaming platform. Twitch has the largest community for live streamers and stream viewers, with the most successful streamers continuing to use the platform. It may be easier for new streamers to grow on Facebook Gaming than on Twitch but for the established streamer or those who want to stream casino games, Twitch holds the upper hand in terms of live stream viewers.
In addition, the most popular categories on Facebook Gaming are mobile games and that may not appeal as much to Western audiences. So, although Facebook Gaming is growing, it has yet to make any serious gains on Twitch.