Facebook is adding new features to attract video game broadcasters – gamers who stream video of their game play online for others to watch.
After launching a gaming creator program in January to pay professional players to broadcast their play exclusively to other Facebook users, the social network on Thursday unveiled its Gaming Creator page, which will act as a portal for live and prerecorded gaming video.
The new hub, available at fb.gg, will help fans discover gaming video based on the creators and games they follow, Pages they like, and Groups they belong to, Facebook said. The gaming portal will also feature creators, esports competitions and content from gaming industry events.
Facebook's push is a testament to the popularity of esports, in which the top gamers around the world battle each other in a wide range of games over the internet. Esports was worth over $450 million in 2016 and that number is growing quickly. It's expected to be a $1 billion industry next year.
Facebook has also launched a Level Up program that will help beginning streamers build a fan base and earn money from fan subscriptions. Level Up members will also have early access to new features, advice from established gaming creators and Facebook support for troubleshooting.
"We want to give emerging gaming creators the information and support they need so they can livestream more easily, grow their communities more quickly and focus on making great content," Facebook said in a blog post Thursday.
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