Not too long ago online gaming and social media were two distinct entities. Each had its own audience and there was little overlap between the two. Today however, social media and online gaming are a solid block. The Internet's emerging power as a tool for communication, sharing information, dissemination of information and communication has brought about a new age in which neither can manage without the other.
In the past decade, online gaming has undergone multiple changes. For one thing, the gaming industry no longer serves a niche market for specific customer segment or age demographic. That means that the gaming world needs to network and build community to grow. In today’s world, that happens via social media where Vegas casino online gamers can connect, communicate, comment and market their gaming activities.
Via social media, gamers connect and share experiences. Almost all gamers are on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitch, Stream or Instagram. It’s clear to gaming companies that social media platforms are the place to “be” if you want to share information about new deals, launch games, offer rewards, attract new gamers or just stay in touch with players and their fans.
All of the social media platforms feature live game streaming technology which allows gamers to capture interesting game moments and then share them with tens of thousands of viewers at a time. Online gaming is now considered to be socially acceptable among all levels of society. Currently, especially during pandemic shutdown, it’s a vital form of connection for many and for some, the only real social interaction that they have in their lives.
The rise of multiplayer games, alongside social networking, means that it’s easier than ever for players to interact. Social media and gaming industries were largely separate until a few years ago but today, the bridge between the two industries becomes more blurred from one day to the next.
Gaming companies and social media platforms are taking advantage of the popularity of social media gaming in a variety of ways. Social media platforms are investing heavily in enhancing their video streaming technology while gaming companies are expanding their social media presence through sponsored pages, bigger advertising budgets and expansion onto as many platforms as possible.
Gaming and social media started to meet more than a decade ago in immersive Facebook browser-based games such as Mafia Wars, FarmVille and online poker. The games served the company’s goal of keeping users logged in and engaged. Facebook quickly realized that the games were a hit but that players also enjoyed playing against each other.
In addition, players were bragging about their own scores and levels and commenting on others’ games and gaming achievements. Quickly, savvy Facebook marketers realized that many players would happily pay to share their victories on their feeds and compare their own achievements with those of others. Even better from the point of view of Facebook, users stayed logged into their accounts and checked their statuses frequently to post their own scores and check out how others were doing.
It wasn’t long before it became apparent to Facebook – and then to other social media companies – that gaming and social media can support one another and evolve simultaneously. This has led to an online gaming culture which plays itself out, largely, on social media. Communities are created in which gamers can gather, online, to discuss their favorite games, critique each others’ playing efforts, provide advice and support and more.
The new medium of communication is enhanced by the Reddit online community. There is no streaming video on Reddit but that’s where today’s players gather to get feedback about a game, offer suggestions for game changes, research how other players navigate a difficult level and share information about new game updates.
Gaming has enabled the emergence of an entirely new segment of social media. There are different types of content streaming platforms so traditional broadcast audiences have a choice of the platform that works best for their needs and interests. In essence, streaming is like social television. Viewers have access to an interactive platform where they can engage with the gamers that they are following while games can stay in touch with their fans. As professional gaming evolves and gamers build their fan bases, gamers have an Internet marketplace at their fingertips where few limits are imposed, other than those of the community. The gaming community has become a culture of its own.
Through social media, audiences can watch tournaments and competitive league play live and comment on the gameplay in real time. They can access tutorials and enter chat rooms where they can chat with their favorite players and with other fans.
The idea isn’t for online gaming to become its own social media genre but for it to make good use of the existing platform. As time goes by this model can work for the mutual benefit of both gaming and social media. Gaming’s shift to social media platforms helps both worlds to shine.