Facebook Launches Dedicated Gaming App

Facebook Gaming - Publicity-H 2020
Courtesy of Facebook

The Facebook Gaming app is available on the Google Play store, with plans to bow on iOS devices at a later date.

Facebook has launched a new app dedicated exclusively to video games, game streaming and discussion about the games industry.

The Facebook Gaming app, an extension of Facebook's official video game tab launched last March, will make it "easier for people to find and connect around their favorite games, streamers, Groups and more" by presenting a customized feed of news, updates and conversations from streamers users follow and games they play.

"Our global streamer community has demanded a stand-alone Facebook Gaming app for a while, so we're excited to finally launch it on Google Play," says Vivek Sharma, vp of Facebook Gaming. "We are building homes for the many types of gaming communities on and off Facebook. The Facebook Gaming app is a prime example of gaming's resurgence at Facebook over the last few years, and we're just getting started."

The app will allow users to live-stream from their phones directly to Facebook, as well as play games through the app without the need to download them separately. 

The Facebook Gaming app is available now on Google Play and will roll out on iOS devices in the future.

Like other tech giants, Facebook has shown a greater interest in gaming in recent years. Both Apple and Google launched video game offerings — the mobile game subscription service Apple Arcade and game streaming service Stadia, respectively — last year.

Facebook has also acquired numerous VR game studios in recent months, including Beat Saber developer Beat Games in November. Meanwhile, the company continues to increase its live-streaming efforts, inking exclusive deals with streamers such as Jeremy "Disguised Toast" Wang in November and seeing a 20 percent increase in total hours watched on the platform (553.7 million) in Q1 2020, which still falls far behind industry leader Twitch (3 billion hours watched in Q1 2020).