Facebook is doubling down on the video game community with a brand-new "Gaming" hub on its redesigned app. A big leap in the social media company's gaming efforts and attempts to challenge Twitch, the dedicated hub now resides in the main navigation of the Facebook app.
The goal is to help Facebook users more easily find games, streamers, and gaming communities to follow, and also to discover new content based on their interests.
Facebook Gaming Hub
Clicking the new Gaming tab takes a user to a feed that includes many elements, including a list of instant games that can be played with friends. Videos from top streamers are also there, not to mention content from esports organizations and game publishers, to boot. Updates from various gaming groups and communities appear in the section, as well.
Not exactly unprecedented, the new hub seems to be an evolution of Facebook's gaming video destination that was launched last year as Fb.gg. That provided a collection of all video games streaming on Facebook, and it served as a platform where gamers and fans can interact with each other. But now, with Gaming as a top-level navigation item, Facebook hopes it can extend the hub's reach.
Video Game Communities
Facebook has a lot of catching up to do, in that case. Twitch and YouTube reign supreme in this kind of space right now as streamers the likes of Ninja Blevin continue to rake in incredible viewership numbers and, in turn, profit.
Twitch and YouTube, and by extension other lesser-known streaming-focused gaming communities, all have a way of pulling in revenue. For Twitch, it's cutting a fixed percentage off subscriptions — around 50 percent. This is where Facebook could cause a disruption. By offering a reduced cut of transactions, ranging from 5 to around 30 percent, content creators and streamers might see it as a more lucrative venture than popular options.
In any case, the rollout of a dedicated Gaming hub on the main Facebook app is essentially confirmation that the company is serious about carving a space for itself in the video game community landscape, and with the right moves, it might even outpace Twitch and YouTube. Time, however, will tell.