Facebook Takes On Twitch In The Battle For Live Game Streaming From Your PC

If you were just thinking that Facebook wasn't already addictive enough, don't fret: there's more feature goodness en route. Last year, the world's largest social network released Facebook Live, a simple feature that let people stream to their friends' lists on-the-fly, regardless of where they are located (provided there is Internet access, of course).

How often you see this feature used will largely depend on your particular friends list, but overall, the feature has proven overwhelmingly popular. Now, that functionality is coming to the desktop (and notebooks), with a few additional tricks up its sleeve.

Facebook Game Streaming

When you create a status now, you'll notice "Facebook Live" as a new option. This will work just as you'd suspect: you'll go live, with your webcam recording everything. If you're a content creator, this would allow you to easily engage your audience.

If you're a game streamer, Facebook Live can help there, too. With a few clicks, you can choose where your mugshot will be overlaid atop the game, and then you can go live. NVIDIA has been talking about this feature for the past few months, as GeForce Experience bundles in Facebook support (along with Twitch and YouTube). So, if you want to stream without having to go to Facebook's website, you could use GFE, or alternative streaming tools that enable Facebook support.

Facebook Game Streaming Notebook

Straight-forward recording and game-streaming isn't the only trick Facebook Live has. If you're an artist, for example, you could manipulate which camera your viewers are seeing, so you could swap back and forth from your digital creation onscreen to a real camera to show off your setup, smile at your audience, et cetera.

Because this is Facebook, your viewers are able to react through emotes as your stream goes on, resulting in smilies floating across your video as they're entered. This is a good way to gauge the reaction of your audience, and tip you off to changes that might need to be made.

Does Twitch have anything to be scared of here? It might seem easy to discredit Facebook's new features when such strong competition exists. However, Facebook has unparalleled reach, so if some notable people begin streaming with it, it could very well start a chain reaction.