The Facebook Gaming app will “no longer be available” after October 28

By 08/31/2022
The Facebook Gaming app will “no longer be available” after October 28

We can add another item to the list of products Meta has discontinued in 2022. The standalone Facebook Gaming app, which launched in 2020 to provide a mobile hub for Meta’s live streaming content, will cease operation on October 28.

Gothalion, a streamer who often goes live on Facebook Gaming, shared the news of the app’s demise in a tweet. His post includes a message from Facebook in which the platform says that the Gaming app “will no longer be available” by November. Facebook users who still wish to watch video game streams on their mobile devices will be able to find those broadcasts within the primary Facebook app.

Facebook has not provided a specific reason for the app’s demise. In a statement provided to TechCrunch, a Meta rep said that “the standalone Facebook Gaming app has been an incredible environment for our gaming team to test and iterate on a wide variety of gaming-specific features and products, and many of these features have found a home in the main Facebook App.”

One logical explanation for the decision: Meta might want to simplify Facebook Gaming. Rather than supporting two different user groups on two different apps, the tech giant can now consolidate its mobile viewers in a single location. That’s the sort of rationale YouTube supplied when it chose to sunset the standalone YouTube Gaming app in 2019.

When the Facebook launched its Gaming app in 2020, it had plans to promote a more active viewing experience than what was available on the desktop version of its Twitch competitor. “With mobile, if you have the app open and you’re using the app, it’s in the foreground,” said Fidji Simo, the head of the Facebook Gaming app, at the time. “You can’t do anything else on your mobile phone, and that is extremely powerful.” But recent evidence suggests that many young viewers actually like consuming live streams as background noise.

Even for those people who enjoy watching Facebook Gaming on mobile, the standalone app was initially hard to find. Apple rejected the iOS version of the app at least five times because of the HTML5 games (and associated microtransactions) that were contained therein.

Though Facebook Gaming’s mobile presence will now be linked with the social media service’s primary mobile hub, Meta still plans to cultivate its community of live creators. Since its launch, Facebook Gaming has attracted a wide variety of streamers, ranging from traditional gamers like ZLaner and KingRichard to TikTok stars like Noen Eubanks. The platform also imported personalities from Mixer after the discontinuation of the Microsoft-owned service.

Despite all those transactions, Facebook Gaming is still struggling to keep up with its powerful competitors. In a recent report published by Streamlabs, Facebook Gaming traffic continued to lag behind Twitch and YouTube Gaming.

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