Facebook’s Gaming app for iOS and Android is shutting down a little over two years after it launched. In a notice sent to users, Facebook says the app will no longer work or be available to download starting on October 28th, 2022.
Facebook launched Gaming in 2018 as a way to compete with Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer (at the time) and later rolled out an accompanying app on mobile in 2020. To help attract users in a market largely dominated by Twitch and YouTube, Facebook Gaming added a creator program, along with additional features to help build out its platform, such as the ability to co-stream. In 2020, Facebook Gaming absorbed Mixer, Microsoft’s failed streaming platform that had the company recruiting streamers like Ninja and Shroud.
Despite the app’s imminent shutdown, the web-based version of Facebook’s game streaming platform will remain online. In 2019, YouTube took away its Gaming app, saying it caused “confusion” among users, and incorporated the gaming hub into the main YouTube app instead. Facebook didn’t provide a reason why it’s shutting down its app, and the company didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.
“We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you for everything that you’ve done to build a thriving community for gamers and fans since the app first launched,” Facebook’s notice to users reads. “This was truly a community-led effort to bring new gaming features to Facebook.”
Facebook has a lot invested in its gaming platform — and so do streamers. The platform scored exclusivity deals with creators, like DiguisedToast (who has since left the platform), Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr., and Grand Theft Auto roleplayer Ramee.
Although Facebook Gaming rose in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of hours watched on the platform (and other services) has started to taper off. Data from Streamlabs shows that hours watched across Facebook Gaming, Twitch, and YouTube Gaming fell 8.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022. Facebook Gaming had the least number of hours watched among the three in both the first and second quarters of this year, with 803 million in Q1 and 580 million in Q2.