Facebook to shut down gaming app in October

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Facebook, which is owned by Meta, will shut down its Facebook Gaming app on Oct. 28. Photo by Gian Ehrenzeller/EPA-EFE

Aug. 30 (UPI) — Two years after its COVID-19 launch, Facebook will close down its Facebook Gaming app in October, the company announced.

The standalone app, which allows users to play video games on demand, will no longer be available on iOS and Android starting Oct. 28. Gaming features will continue to be available on the main Facebook app, but will not be available on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

“Despite this news, our mission to connect players, fans and creators with the games they love hasn’t changed, and you’ll still be able to find your games, streamers and groups when you visit Gaming in the Facebook app,” the company said in a notice on the app.

The Facebook Gaming app was launched two years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic and a boom in video game playing and watching. It allows users to play instant games, form gaming groups or watch streamers.

Facebook, which is owned by parent company Meta, has struggled to compete in the live gaming market, specifically against Amazon’s Twitch, according to a report from market research firm Streamlabs. In the second quarter of 2022, Facebook Gaming held 7.9% of the market share, while Twitch held 76.7%. YouTube has managed to close in on Twitch with 15.4% of the market share for hours watched.

In addition to its gaming app, Facebook recently announced it would shut down its live shopping feature on Oct. 1 to focus on its short-form videos Reels.

Meta is also testing a new live-streaming platform called Super, which allows influencers to host live streams and reportedly earn between $200 and $3,000 for 30 minutes.

Anyone who has used Facebook Gaming app can download their search data before the app is discontinued.

“This was truly a community-led effort to bring new gaming features to Facebook,” the company said.

“We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you for everything that you’ve done to build a thriving community for gamers and fans since this app first launched.”

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