Facebook wants to transform into a live game streaming platform; here’s why

Over 380 million people play games and 200 million watch other people play video games every month on Facebook. If you combine these numbers, that represents more users than the population of the European Union. This is exactly why Facebook wants to transform its social media app into a live game streaming platform, a new approach that will not only bring in new users, but also help build the largest community of gamers. of the planet.

“This [gaming] is a central area in itself. It’s not like an offshoot of an entertainment strategy. It responds to the entertainment use case, but if you look at it from a broader perspective, gaming has basically been a one-time use case, ”said Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India. indianexpress.com ahead of the company’s first gaming event in the country, which kicks off on Tuesday.

Chopra says there has been greater pressure from Facebook in recent years to figure out how its users play games and what the creators want from the social media giant. “Facebook is a very natural and very logical extension for players to come together and create these communities,” he said.

Facebook does not compete with console makers or PC games in general. Instead, he wants casual gamers to play games without downloading them and watch someone else play too. It’s like watching live sports or reality TV, except it’s a video game. Watching someone play your favorite video games while adding humor and jokes is just another form of entertainment.

“A lot of Facebook use is incidental use… you don’t normally open Facebook for a very specific purpose,” he said, adding that the game is also discovered by chance. For Chopra, the priority is to increase viewing time as well as the amount of content offered with Facebook games.

“Gaming has gotten bigger and isn’t just limited to those AAA games played by a small group of gamers,” Chopra pointed out on why Facebook Gaming is appealing to a new spectrum of users who see video games as an interactive form of entertainment and are less hardcore.

But Facebook’s larger goal of turning its social app into a video game streaming platform has something to do with India. With over 340 million Facebook users in India alone, the social media giant sees a chance to increase the number of new users using its platform through Facebook Gaming. In fact, over 234 million gaming sessions were recorded on Facebook from India in July and August of this year, making that country the third largest gaming session market. It also helps that almost all of these are created by young users.

The number of players has exploded in recent years. (Image credit: Facebook)

As Facebook sees new users jump on Facebook to play and watch others play games in India, Chopra added that from now on, the focus will be on getting more creators to use. its platform to earn money. “Facebook gives game streamers the ability to take advantage of all the tools and approaches we have, and help them monetize their streams and the effort they put into the game content they create. “

Facebook allows creators to earn money by collecting stars, a virtual currency that fans can use to tip their favorite creators. The idea is simple: Creators can upload pre-edited videos and monetize their content by collecting stars. Creators who sign up for the Level Up program can access Facebook Stars as well as fan subscriptions. Meanwhile, partnered game creators have access to live ads.

And Facebook is doing something else to attract more creators to use its platform to distribute them by playing games in India. Not just the big names, Facebook is targeting regional creators who broadcast live in the Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Punjabi languages. According to Facebook’s own data, PUBG Mobile, Garena Free Fire, Grand Theft Auto, Pubg: Battlegrounds, and Mobile Legends were the most popular games between July and August in India. Facebook also offers an ad-free mobile app that offers an experience similar to the Games tab on Facebook’s website, which allows users to stream or watch a streamer play instead.

Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India. (Image credit: Facebook)

Facebook’s aggressive moves in the gaming space, particularly in India, show that there is room for growth in live video game broadcasts despite competition from Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube. “The market is growing on such a large scale, where there is more than enough growth for everyone,” Chopra said when asked about competition from Twitch and YouTube, arguably the two most big names in the video game live streaming space.

While Facebook has a strong user base in India, Chopra says the end goal is to create a gaming ecosystem that includes not only game creators but also game developers and publishers. to create the right kind of ecosystem and create time to have the right set of partners and creators joining us, ”he said. “We are truly committed to building the gaming community in India. “

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