Facebook Launches Gaming App As Lockdowns Keep People At Home

The new application allows users to sign in with their existing Facebook accounts, follow popular gamers, watch live streams and interact, apart from of course allowing users to play and broadcast their games as well.
Facebook Launches Gaming App As Lockdowns Keep People At Home
Image credit: Facebook Gaming - Twitter

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To cash in on the Coronavirus outbreak-enforced lockdowns across the world, social networking giant Facebook has officially launched a separate app for online gaming.

As more people stay home, gaming and social apps have seen a massive surge in users and overall engagement, resulting in what has been a silver lining for certain businesses amid otherwise gloomy times.

Currently available for Android via the Google Play Store, an iOS version of the app is already in the works, according to the company. “The Facebook Gaming app is a focused, gaming-only experience where you can watch your favorite streamers, play instant games and take part in gaming groups,” the company said in a tweet.

“One Neat, App-Sized Package”

The new application allows users to sign in with their existing Facebook accounts, follow popular gamers, watch live streams and interact, apart from of course allowing users to play and broadcast their games as well.

“People are watching streams and they’re like, ‘I want to be a streamer,’ and with Go Live it’s literally just a few clicks and then live, you’re a streamer,” Vivek Sharma, Facebook’s vice-president for gaming was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

Facebook also confirmed that it was planning a June launch for the app but decided to launch now to onboard those currently stuck at their homes due to strict isolation rules.

“Truthfully, we were planning a June launch, but given the state of the world, we figured you might want to let you #PlayApartTogether a little earlier,” it said.

In India, one of the biggest markets for the California-based company, gaming has seen an unprecedented surge since before the countrywide lockdown started. From Mobile Premier League (MPL) to WinZO Games, real money gaming platforms have been observing continuous growth.

While MPL saw the number of daily gameplays increase by 55 per cent in March, for WinZO, the last week of March yielded a 30 per cent spike from tier-I cities alone. As per a recent report by Bobble AI, Houseparty, the group video chatting app that allows users to also play games, had seen an increase of over 215 per cent in time spent by users in India.

Earlier on Wednesday, Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries announced an investment of INR 43,574 crore by Facebook for a 9.9 per cent stake in its subsidiary Reliance Jio Platforms, and an additional partnership between WhatsApp and JioMart to enable hyperlocal deliveries between local retail shops present on the ecommerce platform and consumers on the messaging service.

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