Facebook is muscling in on the online casino gaming world with a combination of social media and live streaming that allows users to enjoy a more interactive gaming experience. In entering the gaming sector, Facebook will be gunning for YouTubeGaming and Twitch, two high powered giants which have been, up to now, favored by gamers worldwide.
Facebook is entering the fight to be the number one streaming platform in the high-revenue gaming sector. Currently, Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, has the most users, but Facebook is running close behind after buying out Microsoft’s streaming service Mixer.
Facebook has been investing heavily in its live-streaming service, offering live-streaming videos where people can record what they’re doing at the exact minute that they’re doing it, for purposes of social media. Now, increasing numbers of people are taking that technology one step further by broadcasting games. Facebook’s huge audience, 2.6 users worldwide, gives it a big boost in its goal of becoming the world’s premier live-streaming gaming service.
Using FB to Live Stream Games
To use Facebook to livestream your games and play collaboratively, you’ll need to create a Facebook account with a profile page. Once you’ve created your page, navigate to the “Create a Gaming Video Creator Page” at https://www.facebook.com/gaming/pages/create. Naming your page correctly is a key – you want to attract the right kind of attention. So if you’re planning on playing Scrabble or sweet Farmville-type games, you probably don’t want to call your page “Will’s Warriors”.
The page’s “category” shouldn’t change because as a “gaming” category you’ll have full access to
Facebook Gaming’s algorithms and audience.
Go ahead and tweak your page – update your profile, put in a cover photo that shows you as you want to be seen by other gamers, add in a description and anything else that will make others sit up and take notice of you. When you’re all done, hit “done.”
To enable live streaming:
- Click ‘Settings’ in the bottom left-hand corner to start configuring the settings.
- Click ‘Output’ and choose your encoder. Best options are either NVENC New (if you have an Nvidia GeForce graphics card) or NVENC. x264 is also an option – that option relies on your CPU.
- Determine the best bitrate. For Facebook Gaming, Facebook recommends that you use a bitrate of 4000Kbps, which is suitable for most connections. Alternatively, you can determine your upload speed and then subtract 20% to get your total.
- Set the keyframe interval to 2 for optimal quality. In the ‘Video’ side panel, choose an output value of 720p at 30fps. If you’re streaming professionally, you might want to join FB’s Level Up creator program to access higher quality, 1080p at 60fps streams.
If you’re playing as a non-pro you might want to simply download a streaming software program (some of the free ones include OBS Studio, Xsplit, Streamlabs OBS, etc) to your device. This will also allow you to go live on Facebook Gaming and live stream your gaming event. Once you’ve downloaded and installed your chosen software, the program will automatically analyze your computer hardware and internet speed and will then configure the best performance settings for you.
Some of the elements that you can add to your stream to make it more appealing to viewers include a webcam, an overlay and a voice over.
- You can create a new scene by clicking on the plus sign in the bottom left-hand corner and naming your scene.
- You can add sources to bring your stream to life. Click the plus sign next to the “Sources” menu and use Window Capture, Display Capture or Game Capture to add gameplay footage.
- Put yourself on screen to personalize your gaming event. Click the Sources plus sign and then select “Video Capture Device.” You then appear on screen alongside the gameplay. You need to play with the positioning of your face so it doesn’t obstruct any of the gameplay.
When you’re ready to go live, click the “Live” button located in the create bar at the top of the feed. You’ll open up a “Live Producer” page and that’s where you key into your broadcasting software to get your code. Then paste the code in the “Stream key” located under ‘Settings > Stream.’
Tag the game that you’re playing and add a title that will draw viewers. You can create questions and polls and questions so that you can interact with your viewers as well as a thumbnail photo.
At this point you can go live by hitting the “Go Live” button in your streaming software. You’ll see a preview of the stream. Check everything to make sure that it’s exactly the way that you want it and then hit “Go Live” in the Live Producer page.
If you are considering monetizing your gaming events, you’ll need to stay on top of your stream to see how many people are viewing your game, what comments are being posted, etc. You can monitor everything about your stream via the Creator Studio. The tools provided allow you to see what’s happening as you are live. Keep everything open throughout the broadcast and then you can access the analytical data for a detailed breakdown of how you did. Information contained in the analysis will give you ideas about how you can improve your future streams.