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Facebook’s redesigned app gets a dedicated gaming hub

The hub will host Instant Games, streaming content and gaming groups.
AJ Dellinger, @ajdell
March 14, 2019
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Facebook announced today that it is introducing a dedicated "Facebook Gaming" tab to help gamers find the content they're looking for on the platform. The tab will be available in the main navigation bar in Facebook's app. The feature is getting a slow rollout, starting with a portion of the 700 million people who Facebook claims interact with gaming content each month. The navigation option will start appearing for more gamers on Facebook over time.

Within the Facebook Gaming tab, users will be able to find three primary types of gaming content. First and foremost are games you can actually play. Facebook is moving Instant Games -- previously available in Groups -- to Facebook Gaming, and users will be able to invite friends to play and chat with them right from the tab. Facebook Gaming will also be home to gaming videos, with content from esports leagues and developers to streamers. Over time, Facebook plans to recommend videos based on the games you like and have expressed interest in. Finally, the new tab will play home to gaming groups. Users will be able to connect with other gamers and converse about their favorite titles, whether it's to organize a time to get online and play or find local meetups.

In addition to giving Facebook Gaming its own tab, the company has also been experimenting with turning the hub into a standalone app. A limited beta version is available for Android, and Facebook said it will continue testing and expanding the app based on user feedback.

Facebook has ramped up its push into gaming in the last year or so. Last year, the social networking giant launched a dedicated portal to host streaming content in an attempt to take on Twitch, and has tried to attract gamers to the platform by hosting events with popular streamers. Twitch and YouTube still dominate, but if Facebook can get the 700 million gamers it claims are active on its platform to take to Facebook Gaming, the social network may be able to carve out a place in the gaming landscape.

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