Now that Facebook Live (live video streaming to Facebook from your phone or computer) has established itself, the next logical step is e-sports or video gaming.
Blizzard gamers will be able to login with Facebook so they can easily find friends to play with and share in-game content back to the News Feed. Thanks to the Facebook Live API, that includes live-streamed footage of them playing. Facebook users will be able to watch their gamer buddies battle monsters and compete for glory while leaving real-time comments.
We’ll see how well the somewhat anonymized streaming that Twitch players do compares to sharing your live game stream with your uncle on Facebook but it’s pretty brilliant on all sides: more content for Facebook which keeps people logged in longer and easier connection to your friend/social graph for streamers.
Facebook will have to play catchup to Twitch, which has spent years honing its player-picture-in-game-footage-picture video streaming and its live chat. The dedicated interface, ad and subscription monetization options for video creators, and thriving community of gamers will be tough to match.
Except they won’t. Because none of the player-picture-in-game-footage-picture video streaming is done by Twitch. That’s all done on the player’s end — Twitch / YouTube are just the rebroadcaster of whatever the player is sending back to them with apps like OBS, Wirecast, or Gameshow.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of neat stuff that Twitch enables it’s creators access to via APIs so you can have video overlay of new followers, etc. But that’s a software problem Facebook Live can solve pretty quickly and happens to have a lot of experience in.
The People Have the Power
What’s cool about all of this is the power is in the hands of the creators. A popular show on Twitch can move to Facebook Live or YouTube Gaming and, for the most part, the viewers will follow.
I’ve long been excited about video on the web. Next to “this is the year of Linux on the desktop”, “this is the year of video” has been the second most over-hyped event. But really. This could be the year of video.