Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Facebook to lure e-sports fans with online portal

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Facebook on Friday unveiled a portal devoted to streaming video game play and commentary, as it ramped up its challenge to Amazon-owned Twitch and Google’s YouTube for e-sports fans.

Gaming creator program lead John Imah and product manager Nick Miller described the new venue at fb.gg as a “gaming video destination” that Facebook recently began testing.

“People will be able to discover gaming video on our new destination based on creators and games they follow, pages they like and groups they belong to,” they said in a blog post.

Live and recorded gaming video are aggregated at the social network’s new portal, they said.

“Many people already watch gaming videos in News Feed, Groups and Pages, and we want to do more to help creators get discovered and reach new fans,” they added.

They also announced efforts aimed at cultivating and supporting people who create video game-related video for viewing online.

Facebook launched a gaming creator program at the beginning of this year.

Digital content from video game industry events and e-sports competitions are to be among the offerings at fb.gg.

“To seed the ecosystem, inspire others and bring great content to fb.gg, we are funding content from creators and e-sports that will also be aggregated in our gaming video destination,” Imah and Miller said.

The announcement comes ahead of the video game industry’s major Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, where Facebook is to showcase efforts to build a “community for gamers,” the statement said.

A hot trend of video game play streamed as spectator sport and YouTubers becoming famous for skills or pithy commentary was expected to pervade the annual gathering, which is to feature a first-ever celebrity pro-am tournament of raging popular death-match game Fortnite.

Last year, unveilings of eagerly awaited titles and new franchises at the expo were streamed live on platforms including Facebook, Twitch and YouTube — drawing hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Twitch was an e-sports pioneer, but faces increasing pressure from Facebook and YouTube as ranks of e-sports viewers grow along with the money to be made.

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