Gaming is a booming sector that is expected to fetch $268.8 billion by 2025. 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 2022:
- Market Share
- Reduction in Total Hours Streamed in Q3 2021, But Still Much Higher Than a Year Previously
- COVID-19 Introduced More Gamers to Facebook Gaming
- User Base
- Average Concurrent Viewers Continues to Rise
- Who Are the Most Popular Streamers on Facebook Gaming?
- Who’s Using Facebook Gaming?
- Which Devices Do Gamers Use?
- Spending on Facebook Gaming
- What Drives Spending on Facebook Gaming?
- Where Gamers Buy Games
- Insights about Audience
- Gaming Hours Increased
While Twitch and YouTube Gaming control the lion's share of the game-streaming market, Facebook Gaming saw 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.
Notably, Facebook gaming finally overtook YouTube Gaming in terms of hours watched in Q3 2021. Facebook Gaming reached 1.29 billion gaming hours in Q3. In comparison, Twitch and YouTube Gaming racked up 5.79 billion and 1.13 billion gaming hours in Q3 of 2021, both down on Q1 figures. Although Twitch still has a commanding lead in streaming hours (70.5%), Facebook Gaming (15.7%) is gradually catching up, with YouTube Gaming (13.8%) languishing.
Facebook Gaming's trajectory has been fairly consistent over 2020 and 2021. Despite a dip in October and November 2020, it rocketed in December 2020 and has continued this path in 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 predicted the platform would reach the first position in 2021 if it continued to grab market share from Amazon's Twitch. Of course, this wasn't to be in that timeframe, but it is slowly edging towards Twitch's lead.
Facebook Gaming has grown considerably since Q1 of 2019. While YouTube Gaming increased its hours watched from Q1 2019 to Q2 2021, they fell in Q3 2021. Facebook, however, grew even more. In just two years, the social media giant's gaming arm exploded from the 100-million-hour mark to over 1.1 billion hours streamed.
Stream Hatchet took a different take on the streaming hours of the three leading platforms in their Q3 2021 report, focusing on weekly live streaming watch hours. They observed that overall, the growth of live streaming had begun to slow, perhaps influenced by the lifting of stay-at-home orders. However, as we have seen elsewhere, Facebook Gaming bucked the downwards trend
Facebook Gaming saw a YoY increase of 56%, the largest of the western streaming platforms. Stream Hatchet believes this upward trend is likely due to a growing mobile gaming community and the popularity of Facebook worldwide. In Q3 2021, Facebook Gaming produced over 75% of viewership for PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, two of the largest mobile games on the market.
Facebook Gaming's growth in recent years can be attributed to two factors.
One, the platform acquired a number of notable influencers and streamers. Influencer Corrina Kopf and high-profile streamers like Jeremy "Disguised Toast" Wang 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 increased their user base and market value, and we see the trend continuing in 2022.
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.
Reduction in Total Hours Streamed in Q3 2021, But Still Much Higher Than a Year Previously
While viewers of streams on Facebook Gaming continued to increase their viewing in Q3 2021, they had fewer streams to choose from. However, there were still many more hours streamed that quarter than a year previously.
Back in Q3 2019, there were a total of 3.1 million hours streamed on Facebook Gaming. This more than doubled by Q3 2020 to 7.6 million hours. However, the greatest increase came in Q4 2020, with streaming hours nearly doubling again to 14.5 million, increasing to 19.5 million in Q1 2021 and 20.8 million hours in Q2 2021. Streamers reduced their broadcasting time to "only" 17.1 million hours in Q3 2021, although that didn't lead to any reduction in viewing hours.
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 350 million people use Facebook Gaming every month to play connected games. Together, more than 230 million of them are part of over 630 thousand Facebook Gaming Groups.
According to Facebook's internal data, 3.3 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 the 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 was expected to reach $13.2 billion in North America in 2020.
Average Concurrent Viewers Continues to Rise
An average of 585 thousand concurrent viewers watched Facebook in Q3 2021, an 8% increase from the previous quarter. Concurrent viewers figures have risen every quarter since Q3 2019, apart from a one-period blip in Q3 2020.
Year-over-year, average concurrent viewership on Facebook Gaming increased 59%
Who Are the Most Popular Streamers on Facebook Gaming?
Streamlabs analyzed the top live streaming content creators in Q3 2021 across Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube Gaming. Unsurprisingly, Twitch streamers had the most hours viewed. Twitch's most popular channel is surprisingly "Just Chatting," with 707 million hours watched in Q3 2021. Facebook Gaming has noticed this and now has an equivalent "IRL" tag, called "Hanging Out."
Many of the top streamers on Facebook Live are international, with Im Vernon the only primarily English-speaking channel in the top ten. These top channels accounted for 49 million hours of watch time in Q3 2021, approximately 4% of total Facebook Gaming watch hours. In comparison, the top ten streamers on Twitch account for 5% of total watch hours.
Facebook's top streamers in Q3 2021 were:
- Tarboun (5.74 million hours watched)
- Im Vernon (5.71 million)
- Nam Blue (5.49 million)
- Bulldog (5.43 million)
- Maherco Gaming (4.86 million)
- MPL Philippines (4.67 million)
- Chim Se Di Nang
- ShaktiMaan Pubg Gaming
Who’s Using Facebook Gaming?
With an influx of users brought on by COVID-19, Facebook Gaming 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 earned 200K+ followers and became 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 surveyed, 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 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 changed that behavior. Instead, gamers now 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 can they 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 Drawcards
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% said they would 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 allowed 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.