It’s no secret that Facebook wants to dominate the internet. Mark Zuckerberg wants his sight to be the place people go to share photos, connect with friends, read the news, seek entertainment, and a myriad of other activities.
That’s why the development of Facebook Live comes as little surprise. Facebook Live is nothing new, per se; Facebook Live has enjoyed a streaming relationship with video game giant Blizzard since 2016. What is new is the expansion of Facebook Live to be more competitive with Twitch and YouTube.
Video game streaming makes a lot of money. Successful streamers not only earn significant in-game bonuses; they earn a revenue as well. But that’s not the only way streaming is profitable. Streaming drives traffic. Due to monetized ads and other means, internet traffic means profit.
Right now, Twitch is the go-to for live game streaming. YouTube is the preferred source for walkthroughs and Let’s Plays. Facebook is hoping to change that.
With their latest update, Facebook now makes it easy to stream PC games through the Facebook Live platform, with minimal external hardware or additional software required. Facebook is also providing incentives for viewers to watch on Facebook instead of elsewhere, including in-game bonuses and other features.
While Facebook Live is unlikely to have a serious impact on the legions of streaming enthusiasts on YouTube and Twitch, they no doubt hope to attract more casual viewers, making it easy for people to transition from browsing through their feed to watching a live stream. Since there are undoubtedly people who are not fond of the communities on YouTube or Twitch, it shouldn’t be too difficult for Facebook to lure some of those viewers to their own streaming service.