Videos of people playing video games have been popular online for almost a decade. With viewer increase of walkthrough videos and Let’s Plays, companies saw an opportunity for live-streaming games. Twitch, the most popular game streaming service, boasts more than 15 million active daily users. Along with Twitch, other platforms began offering game streaming services, including Facebook.
Business Insider posted an article, found here, that takes a closer look at the income streamers are making from Facebook. With over 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook still holds the #1 spot on social media. Thanks to this massive audience, Facebook is looking like a viable option for streamers to make a decent income, despite joining the streaming competition late in the game back in 2018.
Facebook’s revenue strategy for streamers is similar to that used by Twitch. According to Business Insider, viewers can either donate “stars” to the streamer, which are worth $0.01 each, or they can subscribe to that streamer for $4.99 a month. Plus, streamers have noticed many of their audience members don’t even play video games themselves but still enjoy watching someone else play. Thanks to Facebook’s large target market(just about anyone and everyone) streamers are able to build audiences from people who would never visit traditional streaming platforms.
The biggest benefit to making money streaming games on Facebook is the comparatively low bar of entry. Facebook’s “Level Up” program allows access to revenue streams at two levels: affiliates and partners. Streamers need to stream gaming content for at least four hours over two days within a 14-day period and they need 100 followers. Once they reach these milestones, Facebook reaches out to them to join the “Level Up” program. The next level from affiliates are partners, who receive more benefits and a more reliable paycheck than only viewer support.
Additionally, there is a benefit to the smaller community of streamers. Fewer streamers mean less competition. Platforms like YouTube and Twitch already have their most popular channels and any newcomers are likely to get covered up by others in the algorithm. Those who have success on these platforms either got in early, worked at it for a long time, or knew how to work the system in their favor. Joining a smaller, but actively growing, community, like Facebook’s streaming service, is the best way to reach the same level of monetary success.
The early success of Facebook’s gaming streams has even pushed Microsoft to close the doors on Mixer and move its partners to Facebook Gaming. The Verge goes into more detail about the move here.
While Facebook Gaming is still relatively new in comparison to its competition, the future is looking bright for the platform. For those interested in starting their own stream channel, Facebook Gaming might be the way to go, especially if monetization is the goal.