Facebook opens pilot program to nurture more gaming streamers

Social network also exploring new monetisation models for creators, including payments during livestreams

Facebook continues its efforts to become a viable platform for content creators with the launch of a pilot program designed to get more streamers using the social network.

The program was announced (but not overtly detailed) via Facebook's developer blog, where the company pledges to assist successful applicants with building engaged communities around their videos and improve discovery of their content via Facebook, Instagram and Oculus sites.

Facebook also says it will equip streamers with the tools required for livestreaming games - such as support for 1080p/60fps streams - and "build a platform where creators at ever level have the opportunity to thrive."

The blog also mentions plans to expand monetisation options for creators, such as being able to receive payments during livestreams.

Essentially, it sounds like Facebook wants to get streamers on board to help guide the company in building a platform that would attempt to rival Twitch, while simultaneously identifying creators that can become the faces of these efforts.

The firm has already laid the foundations with its Facebook Live streaming tools, which has picked up some traction with video games-centric creators. In particular, the company highlights StoneMountain64, whose follower count of over one million makes him one of the most popular livestreamers on Facebook.

"There's a lot of work to be done," Facebook writes, although this is something of an understatement. According to a recent report, Facebook was host to 27,500 active streamers in the last quarter of 2017 - meanwhile, Twitch and YouTube were home to 814,000 and 293,000 respectively.

Whether Facebook can accomplish the rapid growth needed to become a competitive streaming platform for the games industry remains to be seen. Last year, the company told us it was fully committed to expanding its esports coverage, something that could attract more streamers and audiences to the site.

Meanwhile, Microsoft-owned rival Mixer is also making efforts to establish itself with more content creators.

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