Will Facebook's Gaming App Compete?

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is getting into mobile gaming yet again, as the social media giant has announced an app to capitalize on this growing trend. The company previously planned to release the app in June, but considering the general quarantine, Facebook moved up the timeline.

Facebook noted that more than 700 million of its 2.5 billion monthly active users are already engaged in gaming content on its platform. However, the government shutdown has pushed the numbers even higher.

Accordingly, the new app includes casual games and access to gaming communities. At the same time, users can upload streams of other mobile games on the device via its Go Live feature.

The app was tested in Southeast Asia and Latin America over the past 18 months. Facebook will release the app on the Google Play store for Android, and it is currently waiting for approval from Apple to release on the iOS platform.

Twitch and YouTube are the biggest competitors for the app. TechCrunch’s Brian Heater speculates on how this app could play out:

It remains to be seen how the Twitch/YouTube method will translate for a platform traditionally more focused on casual gaming titles like Words With Friends. Not all of the service’s attempts to spin off features as devoted apps have been successful, but the rushed timing could give the service an extra boost, as users seek out new forms of content and socializing during a global shutdown.

Facebook stock traded at $178.70 Monday morning, in a 52-week range of $137.10 to $224.20. The consensus price target is $222.11.

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