One of the ways health experts say you can keep your mind busy and off the stress that comes with staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic is by using the social media. Checking up on people via different social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and the likes have really helped—and as a matter of fact social media platforms are experiencing a big surge in terms of usage these days. This probably explains why Facebook is introducing an app for gaming—per The New York Times.
The app according to NYT, is designed for creating and watching live gameplay. The app is expected to be launched this Monday, and signifies the company’s bold step at moving into the mainstream of online gaming.
The initial plan was to release the free app in June this year, but has now been brought forward because of the huge opportunity presented by the lockdown being embarked upon by virtually every country around the world. “We’re seeing a big rise in gaming during quarantine,” said Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app per NYT. Without a doubt, the global gaming business is booming, and Facebook does not want to miss out of this great opportunity to improve its income badly hit by low patronage in the area of digital ads.
“Investing in gaming in general has become a priority for us because we see gaming as a form of entertainment that really connects people,” Ms. Simo said. “It’s entertainment that’s not just a form of passive consumption but entertainment that is interactive and brings people together.”
Tests have already been completed—Facebook tested its gaming app in Southeast Asia and Latin America over the last 18 months. The company, however, plans to release it for Android users in the Play Store, while approval for the iOS version is being awaited as Apple is yet to give its nod.
Facebook’s new gaming app has a feature called “Go Live” that allows users to upload streams of other mobile games on the same device by pressing a couple of buttons. Uploaded streams can then be shared to a friend’s personal Facebook page. This will make it easier for people to become amateur streamers—something that is not common to what we have in Amazon’s Twitch.
“There are a lot of people who listen to music and say, ‘I can imagine myself being a musician,’” said Vivek Sharma, Facebook’s vice president for gaming. “People are watching streams and they’re like, ‘I want to be a streamer,’ and with Go Live it’s literally just a few clicks and then live, you’re a streamer.”