Facebook takes on Twitch with Fortnite streaming on FB.gg
Facebook has launched a new hub for video games, giving users on the social network a Twitch-style homepage to view streamers playing the likes of Fortnite, PUBG and Dota 2.
Fb.gg encompasses streams by players that the user follows, as well as groups of suggested streamers and games. It’s essentially a way for the social network to consolidate the site’s streamers – what Facebook dubs its “gaming creators” – into a single landing page as opposed to being scattered throughout a Newsfeed.
The move is a clear attempt to lure streamers away from more popular destinations, notably the Amazon-owned Twitch, and onto Facebook’s own platform. Gaming-centric audiences tend to skew towards a relatively young age bracket; one that has been leaving the platform in droves. Tempting them back to the site by paying popular streamers to use Facebook Live is something the social network has already been doing since January with its Gaming Creator Pilot Program, and Fb.gg looks to be an extension of that larger strategy.
The most popular games for streaming on the site are the ‘battle royale’ shooters Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG), both of which have viewer numbers that currently beat those on Twitch. Whether or not this is still the case in a few days remains to be seen, as Twitch and YouTube very much have an overall stranglehold on streamed gaming content online.
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One thing that may pull streamers away from those sites in the long term is money, and Facebook has also announced that a monetisation feature called Facebook Stars will be part of its Level Up Program for emerging creators. To qualify, you need to have broadcast for four hours in the last 14 days, and have at least 100 followers. Pass that, that you’ll be able to make money from virtual tipping, and the selling of virtual goods during live streams.
If Facebook does manage to build its streaming audience, it’ll give young people another reason to stick with the site, which will be music to the ears of the advertisers that fuel the social network. Either way, with Amazon, Google and now Facebook in the games streaming business, the battle for viewers just got very interesting indeed.
Image credit: Facebook
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