Facebook is making some incredible moves lately. First, they’re attempting to change their image by modifying what you see in your News Feed and they are also giving preference to credible news sources. Which is all good news when it comes to the platform itself. But now they’re looking to attract a new type of content creator. This time it’s professional gamers. Is this related to their attempt to make the platform more credible? Or are they simply seeing a gap in the market? After all, professional gaming is a huge industry. The aim of this Facebook marriage would allow people to stream video of themselves playing video games online so others can watch.
This concept is incredibly interesting to me. I always find it interesting to see these kinds of partnerships. The good part is that Facebook will sign deals with gamers and will pay them to use Facebook’s live streaming technology in order to broadcast their videos to users. This has been a strategy that Facebook has used with celebrities, but I think this is a really great and strategic move in order to get more traction on the platform.
Over the past year or so, Facebook has been hugely criticized for what kind of content gets live streamed over their platform. So this is actually a good move on Facebook’s part. But Facebook isn’t just paying these gamers. It will also give them another way to make money: Via donations from people who watch their live stream often referred to in the industry as “tipping.” That means that if you’re watching a gamer you really enjoy, you’ll now be able to send them actual money through Facebook as a token of your appreciation.
The idea with this is to build up Facebook’s reputation as being a place for both gamers, and game enthusiasts alike. The world of online gaming is huge. I mean incredibly huge. Much larger than a lot of people expect. Estimates put the total number of people who watch others play video games at around the $500 million mark – worldwide. Both YouTube and Twitch have a massive collection of online gaming videos. Twitch is almost exclusively dedicated to video game streams. So you can’t blame Facebook for wanting to get in on that action. And changing their perception along the way.
Facebook’s global director of gaming partnerships said, “we want creators to be able to be successful on Facebook and a big part of being successful means being able to make a living”. That said, this isn’t Facebook’s first time in the world of gaming. In fact, people have been streaming games to Facebook or the past 18 months. Not only that, but the company recently announced a deal with the Electronic Sports League to stream some of their professional competitions inside Facebook’s video tab – Watch.
Facebook doesn’t want to pay gamers forever, though. It’s using these paid deals to get things rolling, but eventually, it wants to move toward a business model in which someone besides Facebook — likely advertisers — is paying the bills. Again, good move, Facebook.