By Agence France-Presse
Facebook on Monday launched a standalone gaming app, allowing users to create and watch livestreams of games in a challenge to the Amazon-owned Twitch platform.
A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken on January 6, 2020. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
The new app was available Monday for Android devices, with a separate version for Apple's iOS in the works.
Facebook said the new app will enable users to watch "e-sports" or game competitions as well as participate in games with other users online.
The leading social network said it accelerated the launch "to encourage meaningful community interactions" for people locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook said it sees strong interest in the new app, with some 700 million of its global users already playing games or participating in gaming groups on its platform.
It has been testing the app in some parts of the world since 2018.
"The Facebook Gaming app is a focused, gaming-only experience where you can watch your favorite streamers, play instant games and take part in gaming groups," the leading social network said in a statement on Twitter.
"It's all of Facebook Gaming in one neat, app-sized package."