Facebook continues its race to catch up to Twitch and YouTube by adding new features for creators and their audiences. The company has unveiled its new Level Up program for budding streamers, along with new tools for discovery, a gaming hub page, and a way for live-streamers to make money through fan support.
The Level Up program joins Facebook's gaming creator program to promote streamers on its platform, and is targeted toward streamers who are just starting out. A major feature, Facebook Stars, will also be rolled out to existing members of the gaming creator program and will become widely available through the Level Up Program in the coming months. Through the feature, streamers can earn money as their audiences "purchase and send virtual goods during livestreams."
In addition, Level Up members will receive special access to Facebook Support, a profile badge, and occasional access to beta live streaming features. To be eligible for application to the program, streamers must have a "Gaming Video Creator" page, broadcast four hours over at least two days within a 14 day period of their application, and have at least 100 followers.
Facebook has also rolled out a new hub for its gaming content similar to the Twitch and YouTube Gaming front pages. Until now, to watch a streamer play on Facebook, audiences would have to find the content in their News Feeds or via a Group or Page. Now, fb.gg will serve as Facebook's gaming video destination, with featured and suggested streamers, games, and recommendations based on interests and friends.
The gaming hub page is already live, and interested creators can apply for the Level Up program now. Invitations will be sent in waves in the coming months.