At its recent F8 annual developer event in San Jose, California, Facebook doubled down on its gaming initiatives, announcing the progress it has made with Instant Games, Gameroom, and Gaming Video. That’s all part of its vision to become the place where people play, watch, and share games.
The numbers it shared show that Facebook remains a massive platform for gamers. It said that gamers had played Instant Games 1.5 billion times in the past 90 days, and that there are now more than 800 million people playing games on Facebook or playing while logged into Facebook, up 23 percent from 650 million a year ago.
Now Facebook is going after esports and the gamers who create things and then stream to audiences. I spoke about the trends in making esports and game videos more social with Guy Cross, strategic partnerships for the Americas, and Stephen Ellis, strategic partnership manager, both at Facebook. Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation.