Facebook is set to launch a mobile gaming app to compete with Twitch and YouTube.
As reported by the New York Times, the Facebook Gaming app has been tested for the past 18 months in South-East Asia and Latin America. To begin with, the app will only be on Android devices, at least until Apple approves it for the App Store.
"Investing in gaming, in general, has become a priority for us because we see gaming as a form of entertainment that really connects people," said Facebook app head Fidji Simo.
"It's entertainment that's not just a form of passive consumption but entertainment that is interactive and brings people together."
"We're seeing a big rise in gaming during quarantine."
The new app will include casual games, but its primary goal is to encourage people to both watch and participate in live streams. Currently, there is no in-app advertising. Instead, the firm will make its money through commissions taken when a viewer sends money to a streamer.
"We don't want to be the background window in a Chrome tab while someone is doing their homework or doing something else," said Facebook vice president of gaming Vivek Sharma.
"With mobile, if you have the app open and you're using the app, it's in the foreground. You can't do anything else on your mobile phone, and that is extremely powerful."
Earlier this month, Facebook Gaming Tournaments was launched worldwide for all users.