Social media giant Facebook has launched a dedicated live-streaming gaming platform, Facebook Gaming, earlier than scheduled due to a user spike during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The platform will see Facebook look to capitalise on the Coronavirus-enforced self-isolation laws around the world by releasing a dedicated rival service to Twitch, Mixer and YouTube.
Facebook Gaming will allow Android users to watch their favourite streamers and take part in gaming groups, with an iOS version still waiting approval from Apple.
This release comes after the New York Times reported 700 million of Facebook’s 2.5 billion users actively play games every month and this figure has spiked due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Facebook Gaming vice president, Vivek Sharma, said this launch is just the beginning, as Facebook Gaming aims to be a serious competitor for already established streaming platforms.
“Our global streamer community has demanded a standalone Facebook Gaming app for a while, so we’re excited to finally launch it on Google Play,” Sharma said.
“We are building homes for the many types of gaming communities on and off Facebook.
“The Facebook Gaming app is a prime example of gaming’s resurgence at Facebook over the last few years, and we’re just getting started,” he said.
This move comes after Facebook followed Twitch and YouTube’s strategy to attract users by agreeing to a number of exclusive deals with top streaming talent, including former Twitch streamer, Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, YouTube personality, Corrina Kopf, and former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star, Ronda Rousey.
The Facebook Gaming launch comes just two weeks after Amazon announced plans it is developing a cloud-based gaming platform in hopes of rivalling Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now.