Facebook announced this past week that they won't seek a revenue share from their Facebook Gaming streamers until 2023. The announcement is Facebook's latest move in an ongoing effort to grow its streaming presence in the gaming and esports space. Despite being around since 2018, Facebook Gaming has struggled to make its name compared to YouTube Gaming and Twitch.
Why does Facebook Gaming struggle to compete though? It has clearly committed significant time and resources, and yet it is still thought of poorly by gamers.
We had the opportunity to speak with professional streamer and gamer StoneMountain64, as we searched for answers to this exact question. Stone Mountain is a Warzone streamer and online personality who has been streaming on Facebook since 2016. He was one of the earliest streamers to commit to the platform so his perspective on what's going on with Facebook is perhaps the best informed of anyone.
We asked him about his thoughts on Facebook's decision to have take no revenue share, as well as what features he thinks Facebook needs to be more competitive in the streaming space.
StoneMountain64 discusses the state of Facebook streaming in 2021
Inven Global: What are your thoughts on Facebook's recent decision to not take a revenue share until after 2023?
Stone Mountain: "Compared to other platforms taking 30%-50% of revenue this is a huge win. Obviously, FB is still behind when it comes to competitive features versus these other platforms but they are catching up and even innovating in other areas of communication they don't have (for example: groups).
Most don't seem to be aware though, that Facebook has already been doing this for the last year already! We have been benefiting from this tremendously and the last time they committed it was only for 1 year. So to have another 2-year commitment here is a great sign to their dedication to creators on their platform in my eyes. It's a huge benefit to me."
Inven Global: Do you think Facebook Gaming struggles to get the same level of exposure as Twitch and YouTube Gaming?
Stone Mountain: "They do have much less awareness when it comes to the gaming community, I think the other platforms having such a massive head start working to tackle the issue is the problem. They are playing catchup and it has been a relatively slow process.
I have been streaming on the [Facebook] platform since 2016, the first to do it and there are still many features I think are basic I would love to see rolled out. For example, supporter badges based on the duration of support, I have people supporting me for 3+ years who still have the same recognition as someone who randomly got gifted. Similarly, look at how well-integrated games are on Twitch, where people on those games KNOW to go straight to Twitch for extra rewards. As well as when it comes to gaming Discord is a major integration and Facebook is the only one not integrating into what is a major tool especially for creators."
Inven Global: Beyond what you just mentioned, what features would you like to see added to Facebook Gaming that you believe could make it a more attractive platform for streamers and viewers?
Stone Mountain: "One of the biggest hurdles many in gaming face is having their actual face and real name public. For many including myself though this has tremendously helped build such an amazing community that is far different from what I have felt even with my current audiences on my other platforms I create on daily.
I think a further expansion on groups and the community features is where they have an advantage over other platforms. Being able to share to your timeline and tag friends in descriptions in something for example no one can do on Twitch. The friend feature there is rarely utilized and you can't directly tag or share on the platform easily and it isn't part of the culture. On Facebook I have had videos hit 10s of MILLIONS of views, as well as during updates hit 60k+ concurrent because of an event and how viral and how effective sharing is.
There are still tons of features though I think are missing from their product especially for gamers they are still catching up on."
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.