Gaming is a booming sector which is expected to fetch $138 billion by 2021. While the number of people who buy console games is rising, there is also a simultaneous increase in the number of people who love watching online gamers at work. And, they are ready to pay to cheer on their favorite players.
On top of that, companies sponsor popular players to endorse their products and games. All in all, live game-streaming has become a lucrative avenue for players. Plus, gamers get to share their gameplay with followers and build communities of like-minded gamers. For all of these reasons, live game-streaming platforms are becoming very popular among viewers and players alike.
In the live-streaming platform war, one name shines bright. Facebook Gaming. Though a new entrant, it is gaining ground amidst tough competition from the likes of Twitch. It has seen a noticeable increase in users since its top competitor, Mixer (a former Microsoft platform), was successfully integrated into Facebook Gaming.
Just like its namesake, Facebook Gaming is becoming a goldmine of opportunities for marketers and influencers alike. Brands with gamers and streamers as target audiences can benefit a lot from marketing on this platform.
If you need solid numbers to build a case for Facebook Gaming, this post is perfect for you. We have covered a number of relevant stats about the usage and trends on the platform. With each stat, we offer contextual insights and analysis. Facebook Gaming is the new kid on the livestreaming block. As it grows, we will discover new data about it. To give you a great head start, we have compiled some basic stats about the platform and its users.
Top Facebook Gaming Stats Every Brand Should Know in 2021:
While Twitch and YouTube Gaming control the lion’s share of the game-streaming market, Facebook Gaming has shown a steady increase in market share during 2018-2019. In 2018, the platform’s market share (by hours watched) was only 1%. In 2019, this figure rose to 3%. 2021 saw the social media giant blow past the 1 billion gaming hour mark in Q1. With Mixer fully merged with Facebook Gaming, it’s easy to see how these numbers could grow even more. In comparison, Twitch and YouTube Gaming racked up 6.34 billion and 1.37 billion gaming hours in Q1 of 2021.
Facebook Gaming’s trajectory has been fairly consistent in 2020. Despite a dip in October and November, it rocketed in December 2020 and January 2021:
Since all leading live-streaming platforms have attained parity in terms of technical features, they are now competing on other grounds. Facebook Gaming is working with third-party developers to offer users new means to monetize their accounts. It has become a serious contender for the top spot by coming up with Partner programs and “Level Up” to retain and engage viewers.
According to StreamElements’ CEO Doron Nir, Facebook Gaming has the potential to lead the race in this category. He expects the platform to reach the first position in 2021 if it continues to grab market share from Amazon’s Twitch.
Facebook Gaming has grown considerably since Q1 of 2019. While YouTube Gaming has its hours watched since Q1 of 2019, Facebook has grown even more. In just 2 years, the social media giant’s gaming arm exploded from the 100 million-hour mark to over 1.1 billion hours streamed.
Facebook Gaming’s growth can be attributed to two factors.
One, the platform acquired a number of notable influencers and streamers. Influencer Corrina Kopf, high-profile streamers like Jeremy “DisguiseToast” Wang and ZeRo from Super Smash Bros. joined the platform and brought their loyal audiences with them.
Two, existing users have started using the platform more regularly and consistently. Facebook Gaming’s talent acquisitions acted as a magnet for gamers who are always looking for ways to improve their gaming skills.
All in all, Facebook Gaming’s strategic moves have increased their user base and market value, and we see the trend continuing in 2021.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Nir said. “It had less to do with growing their overall base of streamers and more to do with people watching the existing streamers a lot more and their big name end-of-the-year talent acquisitions.
COVID-19 Introduced More Gamers to Facebook Gaming
As the world went into lockdown, more people turned to the web. Facebook Gaming experienced a surge of new users across the world in the period leading up to March 2020. In the US, 28 million people joined the platform followed by 9.4 million from South Korea, 8.6 from the UK, and 6.5 million new gamers from Germany.
More than 230 million people use Facebook Gaming every month to play connected games. Together, they are part of over 630 million Facebook Gaming Groups.
According to Facebook’s internal data, 2.6 billion people use Facebook products, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Console games are quite popular among these users.
93% of Brazilians who purchase gaming consoles use Facebook Gaming app to connect with streamers and show their unique personalities. 99%, 73%, and 74% of Indian, Australian, and British gamers also follow the same trend, respectively.
Apparently, gamers trust Facebook a lot more than they do YouTube and Twitch. That’s because Facebook has earned customer trust by offering them many free-to-play (F2P) games like Candy Crush. Their F2P games market is expected to reach $13.2 billion in North America in 2020.
Who’s Using Facebook Gaming?
With an influx of users brought on by COVID-19, Facebook Gaming has learned the following about its new gamers in March 2020:
Gamers from all countries spend money on the platform. Here’s a look at gaming stats across all new users:
Which Devices Do Gamers Use?
As gaming expands to more connected devices, gamers are spoilt for choice as to where they will stream from. Facebook Gaming found that more people game from laptops and desktops, than consoles, but mobile devices are used most.
Facebook first primed audiences for social play, and then, smartly diverted them to their game-streaming app. Facebook Gaming got a user base that is emotionally invested in the platform and the content that it offers. It’s no wonder that engagement rates on the app are high in comparison with other new apps in the same category.
Business Insider (BI) reports that gamers find it easier to make money on Facebook Gaming than on other platforms, owing to less competition and high-converting audience. In fact, many top gamers have ditched their regular jobs to do full-time gaming on the platform.
One such streamer is Anthony Helm. He dropped out of West Virginia University to pursue game-streaming at Facebook Gaming. When BI asked him the reason, Helm cited popular streamer Ninja as his inspiration. Ninja plays Fortnite on Twitch and has an estimated net worth of $25 million.
Helm found Facebook Gaming a better option to showcase his talent and earn a livelihood. He makes a comfortable income (which he doesn’t disclose) after streaming Fortnite for straight 10 hours daily. After spending just four months on the platform, he has earned 200K+ followers and is a Facebook Gaming Partner.
There are two monetizing options in Facebook Gaming, “Level Up” and Partner Program. Both require Facebook to choose streamers who fit their bill of “successful” streamers. To qualify for Level Up, streamers need to build a creator page (like Helm’s), collect 100+ followers, and stream gaming content dedicatedly for at least two days.
Qualified streamers can unlock “Stars” which can be exchanged for real money. The current exchange rate is one cent. Additionally, they can charge subscribers (or followers) at the rate of $4.99 a month.
The Partner program is more intense. Facebook Gaming hand-picks streamers who get Facebook Managers, a monthly paycheck, and first digs at pilot features like ads and stickers.
Spending on Facebook Gaming
New gamers spent more than existing gamers across the board with an average of $10.50 contributed in the US, UK, South Korea, and Germany.
What Drives Spending on Facebook Gaming?
New gamer spending is driven by seven motivators. When surveys, results were collected by country and categorized under:
- To personalize my character/account
- To complete a game item/gear collection
- To make the game exciting again
- To stay competitive
- To remove ads
- To not have to wait to keep playing
- To advance, beat, or skip a difficult point
When compared to existing gamers, here’s a look at what reasons that drive spending on Facebook Gaming:
Gamers' spending changed in March 2020. On average, the platform saw less spending in the US, UK, South Korea, and Germany.
Average monthly spending was higher before lockdown by an average of $4.94 across the US, UK, and South Korea. Germany saw a 50% increase in spending from $8.74 to $17.21.
Where Gamers Buy Games
Console gamers are often in-store buyers, however, COVID-19 influenced that behavior. Gamers make purchases through computers, consoles, and mobile phones.
Insights about Audience
Influencers, content creators, and marketers on Facebook Gaming need to understand how and why people use the platform. Only then they can create resultful content and strategies.
Take a look at these stats about the goals and challenges of gaming audiences:
52% of mobile gamers say they play games mainly to pass idle time.
TV and Cartoon Characters Are Drawn Cards
41% of gamers think that games featuring popular TV characters or cartoons influence their decision to try a new game, to some degree.
Buyer’s Remorse Exists
61% of users felt regret after making in-app purchases, and 80% say they will think twice before purchasing again.
Gamer Content Attracts Streamers
75% of users are impacted by a gamer’s existing content when it comes to trying a new game or subscribing to a channel.
Franchise Loyalty Exists
49% of console gamers feel a sense of loyalty towards their favorite franchises even if they have had less than satisfactory experience with them.
Mid-Stream Ads Are Helpful
82% of Indian gamers in the 18-34-year-old age bracket say they use Facebook products to discover new games to try. 75% of them felt mid-stream ads helped them in the same way.
French Gamers Want Influencer Downloads
French gamers are impressionable to the extent that 50% of 18-34-year-olds and 47% of 35+-year-olds purchased downloadable content that influencers promoted.
Ads Are Welcome
All gamers prefer ad-supported games
Ads Need to Be More Compelling
Gamers want to see gameplay in ads for games. When surveyed, gamers selected how they would like to experience mobile gaming ads and results were categorized as follows:
- Showcase the characters/story
- Shows the high scores you can achieve
- Showcases the main gameplay
Here’s how new and existing gamer results compared across the US, UK South Korea, and Germany:
Gaming Hours Increased
COVID-19 proved allowed for more Facebook gamers to put in the time on screens compared to pre-lockdown hours spent on gaming.
Facebook Gaming is making waves in the streaming space. It has a huge potential to grow and become a market leader. If you want to grow with the platform, keep analytics at the core of your content and campaigns. The stats and facts included in this article can be a good starting point.