Well, it’s certainly been a busy few months for Facebook! They’ve recently announced a wave of platform updates to make certain they’re the go-to platform to check-in and stay connected, with friends and family during COVID-19.
Struggling to keep up? Here’s everything you need to know...
First up, Messenger Rooms. Facebook’s answer to Zoom which saw it’s MAU’s rocket from 10m to over 300m over the past few weeks. Messenger Rooms will allow up to 50 users to video chat in a single session and has been designed with strong privacy
controls in mind. Facebook claims that as the features have been designed to be used with friends, family and those you know IRL, it’s open to less abuse than we’ve seen recently (we’re looking at you, Zoombomers).
Creating a room should be fairly straightforward once it’s available in your region and as we understand, it goes a little something like this:
Open the messenger app
Click the “People” tab at the bottom right of the screen
Tap “create room” and select the people you want to join
To complement the new feature, integrations from the FB family will be made available including:
Instagram’s AR filters and 360 backgrounds from Oculus in-chat
Users can also make use of ‘Live With’, a feature that enables hosts to invite another person to co-host the stream.
‘Donate now’ options to be built-in so users can unite rooms and events to fundraise
Next up, Facebook is set to release an option to charge for access to event pages and live streams. With the current ‘stay at home’ environment, it’s a good move that gives small businesses, creators and musicians more options to generate revenue. We can assume that it’s all being built to integrate perfectly with Messenger rooms to offer a seamless, single platform experience that benefits hosts, as well as participants.
Lastly, Facebook launched Facebook Gaming earlier this month which is available now on Android. As the name suggests it’s a game streaming platform that in part, takes aim at platforms like YouTube, Twitch and Mixer. Some big streamers have already signed up, but we’re interested to see how Facebook looks to develop the audience and platform. As well as streaming it also offers the ability to directly play more casual games within the app.
While hardcore streamers might decide to stick to dedicated gaming platforms, brands might look to leverage the reach they already have across other FB owned platforms such as Instagram and look to either move over, or at the very least, syndicate streams to Facebook Gaming. With influencers struggling to find relevant content to post, we could also see a rise of an entirely new segment of streamer. Influencers from fashion, lifestyle, travel and everything in-between, might start streaming casual gaming sessions to their followers and using this to drive revenue and engagement.
If this all takes off, Facebook could create a new sector of more casual streamers as well as developing more gamer-led features to challenge the more established gaming platforms. What’s more, with the development of Messenger Rooms and paid events, we could well also see other creator platforms like Patreon take a real hit too as Facebook looks to offer a single place to create, stream and drive revenue.
How will it all play out? Stay tuned, only time will tell.
But if you’re interested in Facebook Gaming, here’s a suggestion of streamers to follow: