Facebook has rushed the launch of its gaming streaming app, in order to capitalise on the enforced lockdown of potential users
Facebook has launched a gaming stream app for Android devices, in a direct challenge to the likes of Twitch (owned by Amazon) and YouTube (Google).
The app is called ‘Facebook Gaming App’ and the firm said that it had “accelerated” the launch in response to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The global Coronavirus pandemic has ensured that people are increasingly turning to online platforms such as Netflix and YouTube to consume online content. Indeed, Vodafone has previously said that since lockdown measures came into force, it has seen a 50 percent rise in mobile data traffic.
The app lets users follow high-profile gamers, watch live gaming streams and leave comments, without having to interact with the rest of Facebook.
The app also allows gamers to broadcast their own smartphone screen.
Facebook announced the launch of the gaming app via Twitter.
“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,” tweeted Facebook. “It’s all of Facebook Gaming in one neat, app-sized package.”
The Android app can be downloaded here, but Facebook said it is also working on an iOS version as well.
Facebook admitted that it had rushed the launched of the streaming app.
“Truthfully, we were planning a June launch, but given the state of the world, we figured you might want to let you #PlayApartTogether a little earlier,” it tweeted.
It remains to be seen whether ‘Facebook Gaming App’ achieves the same impact as its video streaming platform.
Back in 2018 Facebook launched its Watch streaming video platform in the UK and elsewhere, nearly a year after the feature made its debut in the US.
That service competed with video-hosting platforms such as YouTube or Facebook’s own Instagram TV, as well as Netflix, Amazon Video or BBC iPlayer.
And Facebook will be up against stiff game streaming competition in the form of YouTube and Twitch, as well as lesser known platforms such as Microsoft’s Mixer actually funding particular players or clans.