Facebook FB and Blizzard have announced the integration of Facebook login and Facebook Live application programming interfaces (APIs) with the game developer's Battle.net gaming client.
This means that starting later this month, serious gamers who also frequent Facebook can login with Facebook IDs to play Blizzard titles like the new Overwatch and other Battle.net games. What's more, thanks to the Facebook Live integration, they can broadcast their gameplay live to their followers on Facebook.
If it's a hit, Facebook might consider extending the time limit from the current 30 minutes allowed per Live stream. At any rate, they can create multiple live streams of 30 minutes each that are displayed on their timelines as videos.
Why's This Significant?
For one thing, it could make Facebook a hub for sharing live gameplay.
User generated content (and particularly gameplay) has captured people's imagination in recent times, leading to the popularity of platforms such as Alphabet's GOOGL YouTube and Amazon's AMZN Twitch. Both of these platforms were acquired by the tech giants in an attempt to monetize through ads and subscriptions.
Google's ad serving network and Amazon's retail business were natural supporters of this business. Facebook is just starting out, so it may not generate a lot of revenue right away. But advertisers certainly like its huge user base and professional content creators will appreciate its analytics (Facebook can churn out huge amounts of viewership data based on the user data it accumulates).
Amazon and Google Should Take Notice
Nothing will happen overnight of course, and Facebook may not even try to monetize the product until it has a significant fan following, similar to what it's done with other products. But if it's popular, there will definitely be ads and somewhere along the line, professional content along with subscriptions.
So this is just the beginning, we should expect it to disrupt Twitch and YouTube Gaming in the future. The older platforms have a stickier community but this doesn't mean the companies can just sit back and relax.
Facebook has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Amazon and Alphabet are ranked #3 (Hold).
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