Facebook is planning on rolling out a standalone 'Facebook Gaming' mobile app to rival Twitch, Mixer and YouTube.
Originally slated for launch in June, The New York Times reports the app will be officially revealed later today as the social media company attempts to leverage the vast stay-at-home consumer market created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The app itself will let users stream and watch live gameplay, similar to its big-name competitors, and has already been tested in Southeast Asia and Latin America markets over the past 18 months.
It will also allow users to play Facebook Instant Games, join communities, and use a 'Go Live' button to share and upload mobile game streams directly from their smartphone - negating the need for any expensive equipment.
Facebook's vice president for gaming, Vivek Sharma, believes giving users the ability to Go Live with a few taps will help the app stand out from the crowd.
"There are a lot of people who listen to music and say, 'I can imagine myself being a musician,'" he commented. "People are watching streams and they’re like, ‘I want to be a streamer,’ and with Go Live it’s literally just a few clicks and then live, you’re a streamer."
Although Facebook users can currently watch game streams over on the company's Facebook Gaming web platform, Sharma explained the mobile app will provide a dedicated experience that places content front and center.
"We don’t want to be the background window in a Chrome tab while someone is doing their homework or doing something else," he added. "With mobile, if you have the app open and you're using the app, it’s in the foreground. You can’t do anything else on your mobile phone, and that is extremely powerful."
Update: Shortly after this article was published, Facebook officially launched the Facebook Gaming app on Google Play.
Detailing the move on Twitter, the company reiterated it had originally planned to launch the app in June, but felt fans might want it ahead of time "given the state of the world." It also confirmed an iOS version of the app is "in the works."