The gaming industry is enormous. We are talking hundreds of billions of dollars big. Moreover, Facebook has been getting in on the action since 2018. Furthermore, now Facebook is taking on platforms like Twitch head-on with Facebook Gaming.
This article will discuss the Facebook gaming experience from viewing to playing live.
What is Facebook Gaming?
Facebook gaming is a platform where streamers can post videos and live stream their gaming experiences, games can be played instantly or sent directly to a connected device. It is basically Facebook’s version of Twitch.
We know Facebook Gaming is a platform for streamers to stream live video but is that all it is? Could it be so simple? It is not precisely so simple, but do not worry, that is a good thing.
Facebook is an absolutely enormous social media giant. Everyone knows about Facebook, even if they don’t use it themselves. Here are three very interesting facts about Facebook and just how big it really is.
- Facebook has 2.6 billion monthly active users
- Facebook has 1.72 billion users visiting the site daily
- Facebook reaches over 60% of internet users
This social media giant has spread into many different parts of the internet. From competing with the likes of eBay, Craiglist, and Kijiji for market share in the used goods resale market to adding video service to compete with Alphabet’s (Google’s) on YouTube.
In 2018 when Facebook brought their gaming platform to life, it was clear of the direction they were headed.
So, now Facebook has Facebook Gaming, a direct competitor to Twitch for live streaming gamers.
Twitch got some great notoriety as the leader in the gaming industry for streaming platforms. But Facebook is coming out of the gate with a reach so vast that even Twitch must be seriously concerned.
The Facebook gaming platform itself is surprisingly easy to use and the creator studio seems quite similar to the Youtube creator studio.
The fact that both use the same terminology must have the folks over at Youtube steaming, but we’ll see if anything ever comes of it.
The system prompts one to create a Facebook page that will represent your streaming channel if you are a creator. If you just want to watch, then you can simply search around or take a look at the Facebook Gaming suggested streams.
The user interface either on the creator end of things or on the viewer end of things are both reminiscent of Youtube and Twitch.
It seems that Facebook waited for both platforms to establish themselves and learn from both before creating their own version.
Do I Have To Live Stream On Facebook Gaming?
The beauty of Facebook gaming is that you don’t have to live stream, but you can if you want. You can also record videos and post them, just like you would on Youtube. However, with the Facebook gaming platform, the video should be about video games.
Remember if you want to have videos about other things, that’s fine, just use the Facebook video instead of Facebook gaming.
What really revolutionizes the new gaming platform from Facebook is that it is so much more than just a platform gaming streamers can utilize.
The platform also offers an instant online play of many games in multiple genres. But, it doesn’t stop there.
The Facebook gaming platform allows you to search for and find games you want on your smartphone or connected device and then send those games to your device.
This is a great feature so you can check out a game in greater detail on a laptop or desktop and then send it right to your phone. Then go watch a stream live all without leaving the platform.
Think that’s enough? Well no, Facebook wouldn’t stop just there. How about giving us the opportunity to play our favorite games on our smartphones and stream them onto the Facebook gaming platform, live from our phone? That’s right, welcome the Facebook gaming app.
What is the Facebook Gaming App?
The Facebook gaming app is a companion app to the Facebook gaming platform. The app has numerous games you can play and offers the ability to watch streamers from the Facebook gaming platform.
However, at the time of writing, this app appears to be released a bit before they completed development. The complaints range from too many ads to broken casino games.
Many people who are in the streaming community have commented on their disappointment in the app versus Twitch or Mixer. However, Mixer merged with Facebook so hopefully, they will learn from the complaints and improve the app.
The intention of the Facebook gaming app was to give smartphone access to all the same great features that are on the desktop Facebook gaming platform.
That is, to play mobile games, watch game streams live, and so on. The issues that have plagued the app have drastically slowed its potential growth.
What makes Facebook Gaming Unique from Other Streaming Platforms?
When streamers were asked what makes Facebook gaming different from other platforms like Twitch, there seemed to be an overall underlying answer. That is that Facebook was easier to grow an audience and start monetizing than the other platforms.
This could be due to the difference in the platforms’ reach. With Facebook commanding reach of 60% of the internet itself, it’s hard to believe that the platform doesn’t have the potential to be the biggest platform out there. At least, that’s what Facebook would like.
Twitch may have more people on the platform (gaming streamers, that is), but that means that it has that much more competition. Facebook has lower competition for streamers which results in a better chance for success.
Facebook is growing much faster than other platforms and it will be interesting to see if that trend continues to occur.
But what differentiates facebook gaming from Twitch or Youtube?
Something really exciting coming out of Facebook gaming is the tournament feature. Currently, in live testing, this feature is really exciting if you want to set up a group game online and stream it.
You can organize an event, invite friends, and run the event. All from beginning to end with this one-stop-shop sort of approach from Facebook gaming.
Set up the event as either a private or public event and stream it live. This sort of live stream event is very easy to set up with Facebook with an easy to use interface as well.
Play Games Section
One thing about Facebook gaming that really stands out is the play games feature. Once you are on the Facebook gaming dashboard, there are several choices on the menu bar. You can choose from gaming videos, play games, web games, and tournaments.
Gaming video is self-explanatory but the play games section is a very interesting addition to a game streaming platform.
Once you launch into the play games, you are provided with a screen full of different games to play instantly. Although some have a few glitches as the new platform is adapting to current requirements, overall the system is really smooth and the interface is nice for many games.
At least, on desktop. Mobile games still require a bit more work. The endlessly scrolling selection of games offers all kinds of instant action from casino games to 3d space races.
Web Games Section
A subsection of the Play Games section of Facebook gaming is the Web Games area. This area shows a number of games that can be accessed. There is even an area to see your own games you have on your phone that is connected to Facebook already.
When you find a game you like, you can send it to your smartphone where it will be installed. Some games are eligible for instant play if they are made to work with the Facebook live gaming platform.
Others cannot and will only be able to be sent to your smartphone to play.
Live Streaming From Your Phone
Another great feature of the Facebook gaming platform is the promise of being able to live-stream your favorite game right from your phone.
If you have a favorite game on your phone and you play it all the time, you could turn this pastime into a money maker with your own Facebook game streamer page and broadcast.
Being able to live-stream right from your phone is something that hasn’t happened yet with other platforms, not with any great level of success that is.
But with so many new games playing online and only requiring your device to act as screen and controls, the technology is ready to handle it.
And Facebook has brought it to 60% of the internet via the Facebook gaming platform. This really does have the potential to be massive despite Twitch’s claim to the majority of gaming streamers.
Is Facebook Gaming Growing?
Facebook is starting to get noticed. In 2019, the new gaming platform saw a 210% growth. That is incredible growth in the streaming space. Yet, Facebook gaming could be doing a lot better. If one looks at the reach that Facebook has, over 60% of the internet is on Facebook, one would think it would be growing a lot faster.
But, the gaming platform has a few glitches that are really holding it back from being on top of its game. First, the companion app is more of a nuisance than it is useful.
Apparently released before it was fully ready, there are multiple complaints online about the app.
Complaints range from broken games to bad user experience and the list goes on. Once Facebook gets its app tuned up, one could anticipate a huge spike in its growth.
Another big issue with the Facebook gaming platform is how it appears to be fully optimized for desktop users. On the desktop, the stream is smooth, the user interface is pleasant and easy to navigate.
As soon as you get it on a small screen it becomes difficult to navigate and seems utterly saturated with advertising.
Despite these foibles, the Facebook gaming community is growing and it’s growing fast. And with Facebook’s immense global reach, one can anticipate growth to continue making it the perfect time to get in on the ground floor of a streaming platform backed by the biggest social media giant on the planet.
Do streamers on Facebook Gaming Get Paid?
Streamers on Facebook gaming can get paid initially in three basic ways. These three ways include:
- Fan Subscriptions
- Brand Collaborations
- Facebook In-Stream Ads
Each tier of possible income for a streamer comes with its own set of unique qualifications. For each qualification, you can easily see for your own page when you navigate to the Facebook creator studio.
Unlike other platforms, Facebook prompts you to make a Facebook page for your streaming channel on the platform.
Once you have navigated to the creator studio, you’ll see the word “monetization” on the menu bar. Click on this and 3 cards will appear describing how many views, and other requirements that your page needs to meet in order to qualify for that form of monetization.
Once you have qualified for a type of monetization, you can start earning. The basic currency which Facebook has incorporated into the system begins with ‘stars’.
Facebook gaming viewers are encouraged to purchase ‘stars’ from Facebook. They are then encouraged to gift the stars to streamers they like to watch.
For each ‘star’ a streamer is awarded from a viewer, the streamer makes $0.01. Most money the streamers earn on Facebook gaming will come from people donating ‘stars’ to them.
Another way streamers on Facebook gaming get paid is by subscriptions. Again, the streamer must meet the qualifications before subscription services are turned on.
Once a streamer qualifies, they may start offering paid subscriptions to their fans for exclusive content and so forth. The subscriptions can make streamers substantial income if they are willing to do what is needed to keep their audience happy and growing.
Another major way that streamers can get paid is by brand collaboration. What is brand collab? Well, brand collaboration occurs when a brand wants to work with a streamer to advertise their product or service.
In the gaming industry, this could be a game or gaming product manufacturer who wants you to boast about their product or perhaps just wear a branded shirt or hat of theirs.
Either way, you are not allowed brand deals until you have met certain criteria. You can find out out how close you are on your creator studio page.
Facebook In-Stream Ads
Like the other forms of monetization for a gaming streamer, the in-stream ads can be a great source of revenue for those with a decent-sized audience.
For this reason, there are specific requirements one must meet before they are allowed to have in-stream ads. But, this is a form of monetization all streamers hope for due to how passive the income can be.
Other Forms Of Monetization
These are just the beginning of how a Facebook streamer could get paid. Remember that Facebook is a monster social media site with a buy and sell platform built right into it.
Using the very same platform, one could sell t-shirts, hats, promotional items, and other merchandise right on the Facebook sales platform. And this could be merchandise representing your game video brand.
So, as you can agree there are a number of other clever ways a streamer can make money on Facebook gaming, even if one doesn’t have the levels to qualify for the big three moneymakers yet. So, how does one get started with Facebook gaming?
How to Start Streaming on Facebook Gaming
Getting started with streaming on Facebook gaming is actually quite simple. All you need to do is make sure you have a program like OBS installed. You can get OBS here.
If you want an even better streaming software, consider purchasing Streamlabs Prime. With Streamlabs Prime you will get things like overlays and the ability to multi-stream. I use Streamlabs Prime and I love it.
Also, if you use my code here, you will get a discount on the price.
After you have your streaming software, go to https://www.facebook.com/gaming and make sure you are signed in to your Facebook account. You should be logged in when you go to this link.
On the left, you should see the menu where you can browse gaming videos, play games, or go to tournaments. Below this menu area I just described, you should see three buttons:
- Go Live
- Streamer Dashboard
- Create Tournament Event
If you’re new to Facebook gaming and want to learn how to get started with streaming, just click on the Streamer Dashboard. This will take you to the Creative Tools>Live Dashboard page linked to your Facebook page.
On this page, you will see a number of cards and a menu along the side. On the menu, there is your own personal analytics called insights, right after the content library where you can see all of your posts for each of your pages.
Moving down the list you’ll see an inbox, monetization, and rights manager menu buttons. Below are the creative tools buttons.
On the first card on the screen, you will see an onboarding title with a welcome image. This is where you learn the four easy steps to getting setup.
- Create a Gaming Video Creator Page
- Set Up Streaming Software
- Tag A Game
- Go Live
Create A Gaming Page
If you don’t want to use one of your existing Facebook pages, you can make a new page just for your game streaming account with Facebook. Having a page is required as a part of the process so you will need to do it to proceed.
Set Up Streaming Software
Open Broadcast Software, or OBS for short, has always been a go-to for game streamers across many genres of games. It is easy to use, easy to set up, and minimal so it doesn’t slow things down as other software can.
Facebook gaming recommends OBS, Streamlabs, or Xsplit software and provides instructions for a simple setup for each.
These instructions can be found here at the Facebook instructions for installing the software encoder.
Once you have this software setup, it’s good to give it a test run to make sure your camera or screen capture is set up the way you like and that all hardware is working properly. Then move on to the next step.
Tag A Game
Once you’re all set to go live, you’ll need to tag a game on Facebook. This will connect you to the platform and associate your stream with the game you have tagged.
That way when people who have tagged that game are online, your stream may come up in their suggested video or stream list.
When you tag a game, you should always tag a game or games that you like and that you are going to stream.
There is no sense in having a game tagged that isn’t the game you are trying to grow the stream views on.
The final step is to go live and stream your broadcast to your adoring fans. Okay, so at first it isn’t likely you’ll have many views, but don’t’ worry, it’s possible to grow really quickly on Facebook.
Remember the company has access to 60% of the people on the internet? Well, that includes gamers so this is a platform that has the potential to grow very quickly.
Facebook also has the potential to be a great source of income for active streamers. Many veteran streamers say that Facebook is both easier to grow an audience and easier to make money on as a platform.
And when Facebook can bring in over $17 billion in a single quarter in advertising revenue, you know that the company has some money to pay out for active streamers who bring viewers over to the Facebook platform.
Best Practices for Live Streaming On Facebook
Facebook has a few stringent rules which must be adhered to if you want to be successful on the platform as a gaming streamer.
Aside from the obvious rules of no hate speech, nothing negative or derogatory about people, and so on, there are also some guidelines that Facebook recommends you adhere to for the success of your broadcast.
- Optimized Settings
- Engaging Content
- Regular Publishing
- Scheduled Broadcasts
These are the four basic pillars. The first is self-explanatory but basically just means that you want to ensure the best possible live stream quality for your viewers.
Optimized settings for your streaming and recording software is best. Facebook gives some pretty defined resolution and other settings for the best results.
Just make sure you are providing what Facebook recommends and this shouldn’t be an issue.
Next, we have the content. This is one of the more difficult pillars of your successful streaming channel. This comes with charisma and offering value to the viewer.
Either you are providing entertainment or instruction, whatever your angle, it needs to be engaging and give people value. Why should they watch your stream over someone else?
Regular publishing and streaming is the key to growing a streaming broadcast. People will follow and subscribe to your broadcast if they know they can return to watch your show, so to speak.
Back in the old days, it was sitcoms that would be on at a certain time and people just had to watch their show. Now with television platforms like Netflix or Disney, you can watch whenever you want.
The focus for a specific timeslot has shifted to the gamer streaming community.
Having a regularly scheduled live stream is a way to get repeat business, in a manner of saying. The goal with any streamer should be to entertain.
And naturally, it would be great to make a living at doing this, so naturally making money from streaming is the goal.
With that in mind, regularly scheduled streaming and publishing is the only way to keep your promise of more great content to those who have subscribed to your channel. So don’t drop the ball and keep those cameras rolling!
As always, if you have any questions or just want to hang with me, stop by my Twitch channel here and say what’s up!
Facebook gaming is new, but has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. And with such a large outreach online, Facebook gaming has tons of potential!
Sources – 8
- “Facebook Gaming Creators” Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/fbgaminghome/creators/getstarted, Accessed June 28, 2020.
- Wagner, Kurt, “Facebook wants more gamers livestreaming, so it’s offering paid deals and a chance to earn donations from fans“ Vox – recode, https://www.vox.com/2018/1/26/16934662/facebook-livestreaming-video-games-esports, Accessed June 28, 2020.
- https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/make-money/side-gigs/get-paid-to-play-video-games/, Accessed June 28, 2020.
- Tenbarge, Kat, “Gamers say they’re earning more money on Facebook’s streaming platform than on Twitch and YouTube” Business Insider, https://www.businessinsider.com/gamers-earn-more-money-facebook-gaming-twitch-youtube-mixer-streaming-2019-10, Accessed June 28, 2020.
- Wilde, Damien, “Facebook Gaming launches on Android as a game-streaming rival to YouTube, Twitch” 9 to 5 Google, https://9to5google.com/2020/04/20/facebook-gaming-app/, Accessed June 28, 2020.
- “How Much Facebook Pays Per 1000 Views (ads impressions) on Videos” Solution How, https://www.solutionhow.com/facebook/how-much-facebook-pays-per-1000-views-ads-impressions-on-videos/, Accessed June 28, 2020.
- Miller, Nick, “Support Your Favorite Creator With Stars” Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/fbgaminghome/blog/support-your-favorite-creator-with-stars, Accessed June 28, 2020.
- Mohsim, Maryam, “10 Facebook Statistics Every Marketer Should Know in 2020” Oberlo, https://www.oberlo.com/blog/facebook-statistics#:~:text=Here’s%20a%20summary%20of%20the,monthly%20active%20users%20use%20Facebook.&text=they%20use%20Facebook.-,65%20percent%20of%20Facebook%20users%20are%20under%20the%20age%20of,media%20platform%20via%20mobile%20devices., Accessed June 28, 2020.
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.