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June 9, 2018

Facebook takes on YouTube, Twitch, and Mixer with a game broadcast channel

by John_A

Facebook is now experimenting with a new gaming video “destination” that combines all the live and pre-recorded gaming videos posted on the social network. Labeled as FB.GG despite the portal’s longer real-world address, Facebook splits its one-stop video showcase into five sections: Live Now, Streams by Game, Suggested Streamers, Recently Live, and Watched by Your Friends. 

“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,” the company says. “We’ll also feature creators, esports competitions and content from gaming industry events.” 

To get FB.GG into the eyes of the gaming community, Facebook plans to fund content creators and esports coverage that will be piped into the page. That funding likely stems from Facebook’s Gaming Creator Program launched in January to help content creators build their communities, increase discovery across multiple platforms, and provide tools for making money from streams. 

But what the program lacks is means for actually getting started in the game streaming business. That is where Facebook’s new Level Up Program comes into play, launching in the next few months. This program provides tips, best practices provided by established streamers, and early access to new features. Beginners also have access to Facebook Stars, a monetization platform enabling fans to support their favorite streamers by purchasing and sending virtual “stars.” 

“Since our initial tests, we’ve seen encouraging results and have rolled out Facebook Stars to everyone in our gaming creator program,” Facebook says. “We’ve also been getting a lot of feedback from the community on ways to make Stars even better for both gaming creators and fans, so we’ll continue to iterate and add new features to Stars in the coming months.” 

To qualify for the Level Up Program, you must have a “Gaming Video Creator” page and have at least 100 followers on that page. Other requirements include broadcasting for four hours in the last 14 days, broadcasting on two days in the last 14 days, meeting Facebook’s community standards and its monetization eligibility standards. 

Currently, one of the main attractions headlining FB.GG is AlexRamiGaming streaming Fortnite. Click on the video, and a popup window explains how you can send Stars to support streamers. Based on the message, viewers accumulate Stars as they watch a broadcast, and can donate those Stars to the streamer who converts them into cash. You can purchase Stars as well: 

  • 100 = $1.40 
  • 378 = $5.00 
  • 795 = $10.00 
  • 2,235 = $25.00 
  • 4,465 = $50.00 
  • 9,525 = $100.00 

The whole program — from funding streamers to the new FB.GG page — is Facebook’s attempt to keep gamers glued to the social website instead of wandering over to Mixer, YouTube, or Twitch to watch gaming broadcasts. The new portal will automatically list the creators and games you already follow, your gaming Groups, and the game-centric Pages you follow. 

“We’re in an experimental phase and will continue to test new experiences, including a feed where fans can explore relevant gaming content,” Facebook says. 

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