Facebook is launching a new app today: Facebook Gaming. It’s training its sights squarely on the territory occupied by Twitch: people playing games and streaming the footage online for others to watch.
According to the New York Times, the launch has been brought forward from June. “Investing in gaming in general has become a priority for us because we see gaming as a form of entertainment that really connects people,” Facebook’s Fidji Simo told the NYT. “It’s entertainment that’s not just a form of passive consumption but entertainment that is interactive and brings people together.”
Facebook Gaming isn’t brand new: it’s been tested in Latin America and south-east Asia, with a standalone Android and iOS app set to launch globally this week. The app will include a ‘Go Live’ button to stream live footage of mobile games installed on the same device, and will use Facebook’s ‘stars’ system of virtual currency to make money both for the company and for individual streamers using the platform.
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