Many people believe that watching people play video games on live streaming is a lame way to spend your time. However, records show that this actually sells. In 2015, 1.7 million people used Twitch to broadcast live streams of their video games every month. About 100 million people watched those streams. This justified the decision of Amazon to purchase the company for almost $1 billion in 2014.
Gamers can access Twitch on game consoles, mobile phones, tablets, computers, and set-up boxes. This may be used to either broadcast your game or watch others play. It is used in the eSports tournaments to broadcast games worldwide. With Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) backing it up, it’s hard to find someone to challenge Twitch.
But, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is not about to get left behind. With over 1.6 billion members, Facebook is the biggest social network in the world. When it introduced Facebook Live, it created a huge impact on all its users and subscribers. Now, you can use Facebook to broadcast anything you want via live stream. You can watch anyone you’re connected to who posts live feeds.
Last June, Facebook revealed their partnership with Blizzard Entertainment. This company is known as one of the best gaming companies. It is responsible for releasing ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘Diablo 3,’ and “Hearthstone’. Now, you can live stream all these games through Facebook Live. Just go to Blizzard’s Facebook page so you can watch their live videos.
Earlier this year, Business Insider interviewed Leo Olebe, the director of games partnerships for Facebook. He said, “Imagine every game that people are playing, regardless of platform, they have the opportunity to do one-button ‘Go Live’ to Facebook. That would be pretty awesome!”
“Gamers are everywhere. They’re on every different device. They’re playing any time, and we want to be where gamers are.” Olebe added. He was responsible for the partnership with Blizzard. Now, he and his team are talking to other game developers.
This partnership is the first step towards a bigger goal of providing live streaming services to gamers using the biggest social network. Facebook has made it easier for anyone to post live videos anytime they want. You don’t need to use any expensive or complicated equipment to do it.
“If we can make it easier — democratize, if you will — the ability for people to go live on Facebook, that’s a great thing,” said Olebe. “We’re working on tools and products and services internally to really enhance Live, and we’re working on those things with [game] developers and publishers from around the world.”
PlayStation 4 offers its users the option to share their games by clicking on the ‘Share’ button on the controller. They can upload video clips to different sites like Facebook but not live stream their game just as Twitch or YouTube does.
Currently, Facebook Live doesn’t offer this feature even for iPhone or PC games. Once Facebook overcomes this limitation, millions of people will be streaming video games and almost every gamer will want to watch.
Olebe understands this and is currently finding ways to quickly come up with a solution. He said, “It’s absolutely in our interest, and yes, the Blizzard partnership is a step down this road, to make it as easy as possible. If you’re going live from your mobile phone, you go on your Facebook page and you hit “Go Live.” And it’s like 3, 2, 1 and you’re now live. There is a future where you have that similar type of experience but for gameplay. And so in this case, the implementation isn’t live yet, but they’re literally inputting a “Go Live” button into Battle.net and into Blizzard games. So you’ll be playing “Overwatch,” and you’ll be able to just hit the “Go Live” button and it’ll go live to your Facebook feed because you’ve used Facebook Login — you’ve connected your Facebook account — and now you hit the “Go Live” button and — boom! — your gameplay is being streamed to Facebook.”
Olebe also explained to Business Insider that “The idea that Facebook can be a place where people share the games that they love is, in my mind, a pretty compelling thing.” If they succeed in doing this, Facebook will be a huge rival for Amazon’s Twitch.
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Everyone tried it last week and went right back to Twitch. With Twitch, you have a community of viewers who are there specifically to watch games and can switch between titles and channels. On Facebook, you’re limited to broadcasting your games to a limited audience of people who aren’t on the platform to watch games.