Facebook today launched a live game streaming hub called Fb.gg, which directs users to a special Facebook page that aggregates live and pre-recorded gaming video on the social network in one place. The cleverly named portal pays homage to the phrase "good game." It also puts Facebook in direct competition with Twitch, as both aim to be the go-to destination for live game streamers, their audiences, and creators in general.
This is a big move by Facebook. As the esports category grows, so does the potential to cash in on hosting streams, which is one of several gaming sectors that Facebook is hoping to attract at Fb.gg.
"People will be able to discover gaming video on our new destination based on creators and games they follow, Pages they like and Groups they belong to. We’ll also feature creators, esports competitions and content from gaming industry events on fb.gg. To seed the ecosystem, inspire others, and bring great content to fb.gg, we are funding content from creators and esports that will also be aggregated in our gaming video destination," Facebook said.
As of right now, Fb.gg is in the experimental phase. That means the experience could change in various ways as Facebook tests out new experiences, including a feed where fans can explore relevant gaming content, improvements to recommendations, expanded gaming video inventory in more languages, and more.
Not surprisingly, the two biggest games on Fb.gg right now are PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite, a pair of battle royale juggernauts with a combined 6,000 streams and more than 300,000 views at the time of this writing. Those are impressive figures that propel Facebook past the status of an 'also-ran' though it has ground to make up with Twitch. For example, the most active Fortnite live stream on Fb.gg right now has 3,200 viewers, versus 37,000 viewers on Twitch's biggest Fortnite live stream.
Still, the overall audience is pretty big, and of course Facebook is home to more than 2 billion active monthly users. Not everyone on Facebook will be interested in this sort of thing, but it gives the social network a lot eyeballs to promote this new hub.
Facebook is also launching its Level Up program for that allows creators to accept monetary tips from viewers, paid in virtual currency called Stars. Each Star a streamer receives is worth a penny, the amount left over after Facebook takes its cut.
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