Facebook is challenging Twitch and YouTube for video game live streaming supremacy with the release of its new Games SDK for PC. After testing Live streaming from games like Overwatch from developers like Blizzard, today Live broadcasting from PC games to the News Feed opens to all developers. And Facebook will let them reward fans who watch by providing in-game items or bonuses.
The potential for viral growth and sales could convince tons of game developers to bake in Facebook’s new SDK, while players could use the simple broadcasting feature to reach a big audience — though one not as dedicated to gaming as on other platforms. Facebook meanwhile benefits because game streams create compelling niche content that can drive long viewing sessions, helping Facebook monetize viewers in the moment with ads while locking them deeper into the platform long-term.
Facebook is also hooking up developers with deeper analytics through custom “app events” that are now available on PC as well as web and mobile. Game developers can also integrate Facebook’s enhanced Friend Finder feature that lets them play with friends and now see “Key Player Stats” about other people they want to join up with to keep playing together.
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