Facebook’s live video attack on YouTube and Twitch streaming

Facebook is serious about video content, and to highlight that again Facebook used this week’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) to announce a new Software Development Kit (SDK) to make it easier for gamers to stream directly to Facebook.

The Verge makes clear what the challenge for Facebook is if it wants to compete with YouTube and Twitch:
“Of course, members of the dedicated gaming community who spend hours a day watching streamers on Twitch or consuming highlight and Let’s Play videos on YouTube already have investments in those competing platforms. Those investments can be monetary, through paid subscriptions to popular streamers, or social, by being steeped in those platforms’ respective cultures. While Facebook seems to recognize that it’s not a destination for highly engaged live video viewing, the company has spent years trying to build out its Live platform to be as versatile and appealing as possible. So it makes sense Facebook would continue on this path with the hope that among its giant multibillion-person audience are a sizable chunk of gamers who may be willing to ditch Twitch and YouTube.”

In development since 2016, Facebook is looking to benefit both streamers and viewers, this is done by allowing streamers to monetize their videos and accept donations, and viewer can rewarded with in-game items and game-specific currency.

In-game rewards for viewers, Image source: Facebook

The best thing is, Facebook is offering streaming free of charge, so no additional hardware or apps are needed.

Venturebeat explains the reward system and feedback best:
“a new rewards feature enables developers to grant free, in-game rewards for viewers that tune in during livestreams on Facebook. Rewards help to increase community interaction as players watch together while also offering an incentive to jump back into the games.

Hi-Rez Studios, developer of Paladins: Champions of the Realm, has been testing rewards during the Paladins Global Series and has seen increased engagement and very positive viewer feedback. Based on the strong results, Hi-Rez will officially launch rewards during the Paladins Premier League on March 24. And Facebook is making the rewards feature available for all PC game developers.

More than 800 million gamers play a Facebook-connected game each month, and the games SDK is the engine that helps to power the community across every gaming surface from mobile to console to PC.”

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