Facebook, the app your family members use to repost news stories of questionable reliability and 6 month old memes, plans to introduce an official Facebook Gaming mobile app tomorrow (Monday, 4/2), per The New York Times.
The free app caps several years of investment at Facebook, which said more than 700 million of its 2.5 billion monthly users already engaged with gaming content. The app is designed largely for creating and watching live gameplay, a fast-growing online sector where Facebook is battling Amazon’s Twitch, Google’s YouTube and Microsoft’s Mixer services.Facebook to Introduce an App for Gaming, The New York Times
Gaming is a business worth over $160 billion, and its one of the standout industries that’s actually thriving throughout an unprecedented global outbreak. I can’t say I’m surprised that Facebook is making this move, but I also can’t say I’d be personally stoked for yet another Facebook-owned app existing on my phone, either.
Facebook Gaming has never felt as… Well… Real as Twitch and Mixer to me. YouTube Gaming has this same issue, where it and Facebook Gaming seem like a tacked-on feature to a platform that’s already spread thin and attempts to appeal to several different genres equally – while not quite nailing any of them in a way that feels authentic or true to their fanbases.
The above chart may show that Twitch is losing market share, but I find it strange – and even awkward – when I see friends of mine streaming directly to Facebook, and can’t help but wonder who their audience is. Aside from DisguisedToast, I couldn’t name you a single notable Facebook Gaming streamer – but maybe Zuckerberg’s camp is looking to shift the perception of their platform by launching this app.
If you ask me, they’d be better off buying a smaller platform (lets say, maybe, Caffeine) or completely rebranding Facebook Gaming alongside this launch to create some distance between the world’s most heavily scrutinized source of misinformation and a gaming platform that can actually be taken seriously.
Maybe I’m being too hard on Facebook Gaming, but I also find laughable when a $54 billion company is painted as some “little engine that could”.
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