Today, Facebook launched fb.gg, a new streaming hub for video games that looks to directly compete with Twitch. Named after the post-game tradition of “good game” or gg, the socially driven streaming site is already a major player in the streaming landscape. The streaming hub is curated around streamers and games that Facebook users have liked or follow themselves. It also highlights featured streamers, such as celebrities, games, like press reveals, and events, like eSports competitions. With easy shareability, mainstream appeal and personalised recommendations, Facebook will have strong and sustainable viewership from launch. The social integration with users’ Facebook friends is a key difference between YouTube and Twitch, which may be the deciding factor in competition.
While Facebook are definitely late to the streaming game, they are also the biggest company. With young adults viewing more than 3 and a half hours a week of streaming content, it’s a smart move for Facebook. This isn’t the first time Facebook has adopted features of other services. For the most part, they have been successful and actually beaten competition through brand recognition and user accessibility alone. The two biggest examples would be Instagram’s integration of video and ‘stories’, that were clear competitors to Vine and Snapchat. As Facebook/Instagram is so heavily integrated into modern society, it was almost an inevitability for people to make the switch and start using the same features of Vine and Snapchat in the one place all their friends were.
Facebook is also launching the Level Up program to help support and pay streamers. As well as a Patreon-style monthly subscription fan patronage feature, there is a tipping service. Viewers can tip their favourite streamers using the virtual currency Facebook Stars, which is $0.01 per Star. Techcrunch is reporting that donations from users are a minimum of $3. The Level Up program also gives streamers in the program exclusive access to various features. These features include custom support, HD 1080p 60fps transcoding, a special badge on their profile. To check for eligibility, check here.