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Facebook Going Head-to-Head with Twitch with Direct PC Livestreaming

Facebook is preparing to take on Amazon's Twitch livestreaming platform with new additions announced today at the Game Developer's Conference. Players and streamers will be able to directly livestream from PC to Facebook and viewers will be able to score some in-game rewards just for watching.

The livestreaming API from Facebook "makes it easier than ever for developers to add Facebook streaming functionality to their PC games. In a matter of seconds, players can now livestream directly from the game client to a Facebook surface without any hardware or third party software required." The API is already out for PC and will be out for mobile developers in the coming weeks.

How can players earn in-game rewards? Check out the statement from Facebook:

RewardsOur new rewards feature enables PC developers to create a meaningful watch experience for their community and re-engagement opportunities for their game by curating and granting free, in-game rewards for viewers that tune in during livestreams on Facebook. Rewards help to increase community interaction as players watch together and offer an incentive to jump back into the games they love. Hi-Rez Studios, developer of Paladins, has been testing rewards during the Paladins Global Series and has seen increased engagement and very positive viewer feedback. Based on strong results Hi-Rez will officially launch rewards during the Paladins Premier League on March 24th. We're now making the rewards feature available for all PC game devs.

Other features of the Facebook Games SDK include:

  • FB log in and Friend Finder tools to "integrate real time player stats from their games into Facebook groups"
  • App events & analytics

The goals for the Facebook software development kit:

  • Increasing community engagement by making it easier and more rewarding for players to share from the most important surface of all: a developer's game.

  • Understanding and optimizing the impact of a game's community activity with app events and analytics.

Read the full announcement at Facebook's Developer site or read more over at VentureBeat.com.

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom