As a result of the most recent events evolving around Twitch, Facebook Gaming became a solid alternative for a lot of streamers. Twitch has been in bad standing with its streamers for a while now. First banning one of the biggest streamers on the platform, to what we know, without reason, that streamer being Dr. Disrespect. Shortly after the ban, Twitch made headlines again with DMCA strikes against their biggest streamers, with again little warning.
A lot of streamers, big and small, feel left alone and not supported by their platform. It appears that Twitch is selling out with forced ads and caving in to the music industry.
Why Facebook Gaming?
If you decide to leave Twitch, there are tons of different platforms to choose from for your next stream, however; only two platforms really make sense, that being Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming. Both platforms have large audiences that they can pull from and drive towards streams, but why is Facebook Gaming so attractive to most people.
First off, YouTube’s algorithm is still favoring video content over live content. This makes it difficult for small channels to break through the noise. YouTube Gaming is a great platform when it comes to streaming, however the platform has not branded itself as a live streaming platform. Most people see YouTube as a video platform to either kill time on or search for a solution, rarely does anyone see the platform as a live streaming platform.
A lot of people browse through Facebook in their spare time. When people have some time on their hands during a lunch break even during the small walk down the hall, they often pull out their phone and check their Facebook feed. Facebook has always suggested content to users based on the user’s interests. This suggested content pops up randomly on the users’ feed while they scroll through. Facebook, in essence, brings your content to users who might be interested in it, absolutely for free. This is the algorithm that so many people chase, but very few understand.
It appears to be easy. You go live on Facebook Gaming and Facebook will suggest your stream to their users that share similar interests, you basically get free advertising. While this is true there is more to it.
Facebook Gaming offers their users an algorithm that advertises for the streamers entirely for free. This is a feature that Twitch does not offer, but do not get too excited. This feature comes at a cost.
When you go live on Facebook Gaming the algorithm will analyse your live stream based on title, game and your Facebook page. It then suggests your stream to users that share similar interests. The stream will pop up in the users’ feed as a suggested piece of content. From that point on, it is on you the streamer to hold the users’ attention. If you manage to hold most viewers that were suggested your content on your live stream, and therefore on Facebook, for at least 1 minute, the algorithm will send more viewers your way, because users appear to enjoy your content.
The basic function of the algorithm is to reward creators that are able to keep users on Facebook. The more users you can keep on the platform and the longer, the better. Facebook will keep suggesting your content and keep sending viewers your way. If those viewers then engage with your live stream, the algorithm will give you special treatment and suggest your content even more. Engagement can happen in 4 different ways. The first way is a reaction to the stream which is valued, but with the lowest value. Users easily like content on Facebook without putting too much thought into it. Facebook knows that and while it rewards for it, it does not reward too much. A share, the second form, counts a bit more since sharing something to your page includes some thought put into it. The third form of engagement is a page following. This is valued higher. The last form is comments or chatting. The algorithm rewards commenting the most, because when users comment they are invested in your stream, they stick around and Facebook knows this. If users are invested they will stay on the platform longer. There are several tactics on how to drive up your engagement but to keep it simple, the more users you can keep on the platform and the more you can get these users invested and engaged in your stream, the more the algorithm will reward you.
However good this might sound, there are downsides to the Facebook Gaming algorithm. The algorithm gets to know you. It learns how much content you put out, when you put out this content and what content it is. The more consistent you stay with your content and the time of uploading the more rewarding the algorithm will be. This does not mean you cannot switch things up or if you miss an upload the algorithm will punish you, however the more you deviate from your regular content and schedule, the more confused the algorithm will be, and the more it will slow down, until it figures out what your new schedule and type of content is. As a streamer on Facebook you need to be extremely consistent and careful with the content you experiment with. If you would like to experiment with new content, this new content should not take up more than 20% of your total Facebook content. This gives you enough data to see if the experiment worked, without confusing the algorithm and slowing down your growth.
Should you give Facebook Gaming a try or not? Definitely. There is nothing that would deny you giving Facebook Gaming a shot. Create your page and go live. At the beginning you can experiment with a lot of different content and games. Just know that at some point once you have found your main game, you have to stick with it in order to grow fast. Once you reached a certain growth and established your name in the Facebook Gaming community, you can start experimenting with different content, following the 80/20 rule.
What do you think? Are you going to give Facebook Gaming a shot?