Battle of live streaming giant never end. After the defeat of Mixer, Facebook Gaming rose and challenge Twitch hegemony, but which one is actually better?
Which is Better: Twitch or Facebook Gaming?
Twitch is the earliest video game live streaming platform and have been dominating the video game streaming industry for years. Twitch, owned by Amazon and Facebook Gaming are the two biggest live streaming platforms. According to rainmaker.gg, in January 2021, 2 Billion hours are watched on Twitch compared to 440 million hours on Facebook Gaming. This proves that Twitch is more popular than Facebook Gaming. But being oldest and currently most popular doesn’t mean it will remain popular forever and can’t be usurped. Just like how Apple managed to challenge Nokia dominance, Google is the number one search engine while Yahoo is forgotten and Microsoft, a small company that replaces IBM as the giant in the software Industry. It’s common for a tech company to being defeated by its younger rival with better innovation.
Because Technology industry always grew meanwhile the inherent corporate structure always resists change. Facebook gaming can easily learn from its predecessor that already forms the foundation of live streaming industry.
You don’t need to become a hardcore gamer to join these platforms. Whether you’re a Professional league gamer or just average guys that enjoy playing chess, or even Grand Master Chess player, you can join Twitch or Facebook Gaming, interacting with your follower and earning some cash while in the way. So, anyone can join a live streaming platform, not just a gamer (this is a common misconception since gaming currently dominates live streaming industry). By comparing the advantage and disadvantages of each platform, we can decide which one is better for video game streamers to join into. While you can join to both platforms to gather both followers in different communities (unless you’re become a partner and forbidden to join competitor in your contract), focusing on one community a good way to maximizing your effort and the benefit from it. So, the question to ask is, which video game live streaming platform should you commit into?
The key takeaways of which better Twitch or Facebook Gaming?
Twitch is better because:
1. More mature live streaming platform
2. Having the biggest market share in the live streaming industry
3. Easier to enter the Partner program
4. Having a loyal fanbase and big community built around gamers
5. Better monetization because it’s owned by Amazon
Facebook Gaming is better because
1. More popular in Asia, it’s a lot easier to gain followers if you stream in Asia.
2. Facebook Gaming pays you more, you will only get a 30% cut from your earning compared to 50% in Twitch Affiliate and 40% in Twitch Partner program.
3. Mixer closing redirect Mixer streamers and fans of Mixer to Facebook Gaming, making it into the top three live streaming platform in less than a year.
History of video game live streaming industry
The History of Twitch
The battle between live streaming giants is something that worth written as a novel. Twitch, as the first video game live streaming service was built in 2011. In just 3 years, Twitch managed to gain 45 million unique visitor and the 4th most consuming Internet data site in the USA, just behind Netflix, Google, and Apple. This is a big success because since when it was built, it was just a spin-off of Justin.tv, a general-topic live streaming platform.
In that same year, Amazon acquired Twitch for US$970 million (There were some speculations that Google will buy Twitch, so it was a surprise for most people). Some fans were concerned, they were afraid that it will become a soulless video game corporate giant that will only care about money. Most were happy, because of Amazon integration with its modern and robust cloud distributed computing network and Amazon subscription service, Amazon Prime, will bring Twitch to a higher peak. And they were right, by 2015, Twitch has doubled its unique monthly visitor to more than 100 million per month
The History of Facebook Gaming
Facebook Gaming is a recent live streaming platform that officially launched in 2018. It’s one of the most popular streaming services in Asia. In July 2020, Mixer, Microsoft-owned live streaming platform closed down and redirect some of its streamers to Facebook Gaming. Since then, Facebook Gaming is the only rival to Twitch (YouTube has a bigger market share but most people rarely use gaming live streaming feature on it)
But, what about YouTube?
Of course, YouTube (formerly known as YouTube Gaming) exists, with PewDiePie as the most subscribed Youtuber (Close to 110 million subscribers in 2021). But most streamer only chooses Twitch or Facebook Gaming as their main streaming platform and upload their edited gameplay video to YouTube to increase the number of fans and extra monetization. Only some streamers like PewDiePie and Valkyrae choose YouTube as their main platform to stream their gameplay.
Compare Twitch and Facebook Gaming: Which one is better for viewers?
Even though reading this article indicates you’re an aspiring streamer that wanted to follow his dream, you must understand that 99.99% of your follower will be non-streamer. They will see your stream or video as a guest or member. If the platform is easy to use, secure, has a big community around it and has a blazingly fast server that can deliver stream in real-time without lag, they will choose that platform. So first we must compare Twitch and Facebook Gaming which one better for the viewers.
Why Twitch is better for viewers than Facebook Gaming
1. It’s easy to register on Twitch
Without having an account, you can watch your favorite streamer stream, but you can’t interact with them. With email and password, you can easily register into Twitch. You can also link your account with Amazon Prime account. You can ironically login using your Facebook account.
2.Twitch offers a Freemium service
Every time you watch a video, there will be ads before and between. If you’re a registered member you can pay a Twitch Turbo subscription to get many benefits and turn off all ads every time you watch a video.
3. Wide range of platform that supports Twitch
You can easily watch Twitch on any platform. Your viewer can watch your content anywhere from PC, Android/iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or even a game console like PS5 and XBOX series X
4. Twitch have a bigger community than Facebook Gaming
Just like I explained before, Twitch is older than Facebook Gaming. Most people that love to watch a live stream, your potential follower, already use Twitch a long time ago. They have a ton of streamers that they follow and interact with. They witness the growth of Twitch from a small company to a live streaming giant that was finally acquired by Amazon. It becomes even bigger after that. This is a habit that hard to break. Twitch already take a huge chunk of market share before Facebook Gaming even exists. Choosing Twitch as your main streaming platform will increase your chance to get a higher number of followers, even if the competition between the new and experienced streamer is higher.
With the discover feature, viewers can get a recommendation to a streamer that they had never watch. Sometimes Twitch will spotlight non-gaming channels like sculpting, LEGO building, illustrator, manga artist, adventure stream, music stream, and many others. The potential is endless, who knows if the next spotlight is your channel and you will be the next successful streamer?
5. Watch 1080p 60fps content easily
Both Twitch and Facebook Gaming will let you watch 1080p streams at 60 fps. But only Facebook partner video that you can only watch at 1080p 60fps at Facebook and the requirement to achieve that is really hard (I will explain it below). Meanwhile, Twitch doesn’t have this requirement. As long your favorite streamers have a strong enough pc and fast upload internet speed, you can easily watch the content at the best quality.
Why Facebook Gaming is better for viewers than Facebook Gaming
1. You only need Facebook Account to use Facebook Gaming
You just need a Facebook account and you’re ready to go. Most people already have a Facebook account so no need to remember an extra password for your live streaming account. But this is a disadvantage because you won’t have privacy when using Facebook Gaming. Your real name will appear in front of many people.
2. Facebook Gaming have a bigger untapped potential market in Asia
If you’re an Asian, most people will know about Facebook Gaming instead of Twitch. Why? This is a long history behind it. Most Asian countries have a backward infrastructure. When the American already has a smartphone, they only started to have PC and blackberry phone. And having a flagship Nvidia series (70-80) powered PC is rare 12 to 8 years ago. Most people play using APU and the game that strong enough to play using it is usually Facebook Game like Farmville and games from Zynga. By having the childhood memory of playing those games, they grew a loyalty to Facebook. When Facebook Gaming launched, it immediately causes a storm in Asia countries. But what about Twitch? They never promote their platform in Asia, maybe because most of their streamer is English speaking streamer and back then the market in Asia is small. But as the Asia country economy grew, this is a mistake because many Asians have become the favorite streamers in Facebook Gaming and earn millions of dollars from it.
3. Facebook integrate their Facebook Gaming into their main platform
The design of Facebook Gaming gives you a similar vibe to normal Facebook, but instead of the posts about boring old people blaming the younger generation and conspiracists explaining that the government has a weird conspiracy to their people, it’s about gaming and young people’s energy. From the data of you and your friend on the Facebook pages you like that related to games, it will give you recommendations of streamer and games you like according to the algorithm. Once the service gathered enough data and the Facebook Gaming algorithm understands you enough, the viewing experience will be better.
List of Twitch Features
1. Twitch has the biggest market share in the live streaming industry
As the oldest gaming live streaming platform, Twitch has a massive advantage from the start. They set the industry standard, other streaming platforms like Facebook Gaming and YouTube must applicate many of Twitch’s features to finally be able to compete with. Twitch also has a solid fanbase of favorite streamers and loyal followers. Twitch also has the biggest market share as showed the data from stream hatchet in the image below
In Q1 of 2021, 8.8 billion hours are watched on Twitch, YouTube Live Gaming, and Facebook Gaming. 6.3 billion hours are watched on Twitch compared to only 1.1 billion hours on Facebook gaming. While the number of hours watched is not the necessarily correct data to determine which platform is more popular, but having more than 5 times of numbers of hours indicates that Twitch owns at least 70% of the live streaming market share compared to 13% of Facebook Gaming market share.
2. Built as a gaming platform, by gamers, and for gamers
Twitch is built around gamers so they have many gaming features. Twitch has solid integration with favorite streaming software like OBS and offers customization by using Twitch extension. Using the extension can increase the engagement between streamer and viewers, and the best way to gain followers
Twitch also has a partnership with many video game platforms like Steam, EA, Blizzard, Riot, Epic Games, and many others. If you want to watch the latest competition in CSGO, Dota 2, LOL, and Fortnite, most viewers will simply choose Twitch and the number of viewers will be always the highest. Viewers can interact with each other while the two-team battle with each other in competition. If there is a new game console like PS5, many streamers in Twitch will watch together and commend on the PS5 launch games. When there is a new AAA game release, Cyberpunk, there will be many popular streamers play at day 0 on Twitch. Anything that happens in the video game industry will always be available at Twitch.
3. Twitch have a dedicated mobile app that compatible with both Android and iOS platform
Twitch has a mobile app that can be download on both Android (Play Store) and iOS platforms (App store). When you first download the app, you will be prompted to the login page. Sadly, you can’t watch a stream on your smartphone without having an account
Just like the Twitch webpage that opened when you use a desktop, the appearance of the mobile app is similar. It has a minimalistic UI with beautiful white color. There is a setting to change into dark mode/ dark theme if you hate the white theme mode.
Twitch gives you a complete function on its mobile app. You can watch your favorite streamer, donate, chat to your friends, and many other functions that was available on desktop. You can even live stream in your mobile app after you enable Camera and Microphone in your apps. Gone the day you need a gaming PC and complete streaming kits like microphone, webcam, camera, sound card, capture card, and many others. Just pick your smartphone and start to stream mobile games that available like Genshin Impact, Among Us, Just Chatting, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Of course, this is provided that your smartphone can handle both playing games and streaming which require expensive flagship smartphones like the latest Samsung and iPhone. You may also need to reduce your in-game setting graphic quality and have blazing fast Wi-Fi speed to stream your games. Going live in Twitch on your smartphone will be similar to going live on Tik Tok and Instagram. The key difference is, most of the time, you will stream your games on Twitch instead of a teenager doing things that went viral on Tik Tok.
In the upper part, you can view and edit your profile. In your profile, you can manage your subscriptions, view your friend list, check your drop, change your account setting, and set presence from Online, Busy, and Invisible. You can also disable Share my activity if you value your privacy on which channel you are currently watching. There is also My Channel to view your channel and Stream Manager to open the inbuilt analytic to manage your stream.
Besides profile, there is also a Notification tab that will give you alerts about you and your followed streamer when they started to stream. The social tab will let you manage your friend, chat to your friend, and whisper to someone. There is also an inbuilt search function to help you navigate the app and searching for a channel or games
In the bottom part, there is three-tab. Following will show you the channel that you follow. This is useful to track your favorite streamer stream. Discover will give you recommendations of popular streaming and streamer that play your favorite games. Discover will always be my favorite part because it let you browse the hidden gem on Twitch.
Browse will give you a simple list of categories of the stream and live channels. You can pick your favorite game categories to watch the streamer play those games. There is also Sort and Filter function that will help you during searching by sort based on viewers from high to low, sort relevancy, and filters by tags.
Overall, the mobile app is simple to use, has minimalistic UI, and has a complete function for both viewers and streamers. and only useful for gamers to watch streams. If you love to watch a video game stream on Twitch, I recommended installing the mobile app on your smartphone.
List of Facebook Gaming Features
1. Integration with Facebook and Instagram
After the flopped IGTV, Facebook understands that creating a new industry with a new standard is difficult, so Facebook Gaming simply inherit many of Facebook features and user interface making many Facebook user familiar with this new platform. Facebook Gaming also uses many its competitor features. The result is a successful video game live streaming service that can take a chunk of its competitor market share
If you stream on Facebook Gaming, you can gain the potential access of 2.7 billion active users on Facebook and 1 billion active users on Instagram. Backed by the most popular social media platform is a massive advantage when you’re still a new streamer that aims to grow your channel.
Facebook also Facebook Ads. It’s one biggest ad media that have the best algorithm and huge database from its user. You can use Facebook Ads to advertise your channel and video, making your gameplay videos viral on Facebook (It’s not easy, but possible)
2. Facebook gaming have a better mobile app experience (If you use Android)
Facebook Gaming have a better mobile app experience if you use Android. Facebook Gaming uses dark mode as its default theme. Some people love it, but for me, I hate it because prolonged use of dark mode can blur my vision and cause headaches. But if you truly like dark modes, then Facebook Gaming will deliver the best experience compared to Twitch dark theme
The UI is similar to Twitch, and you can also live-stream your game on your smartphone. You can open Facebook’s Instant Games platform; with it, you can play several mini-games free. Sadly, these features only available in Android, not iOS, due to Apple policy on reviewing games. In a nutshell, if you have Android you will get a better experience on the mobile app
Let’s dive a little deeper into the important part, the affiliate part or how streamer can earn from their chosen platform.
Comparison between Twitch Affiliate and Facebook Gaming Level Up Program
1. Twitch Affiliate
With a requirement of a minimum of 50 followers and eight hours or 7 days broadcasted in 30 days, you can join the Twitch Affiliate program. With Twitch Affiliate you can earn money from Ads, Subscriptions from your fans, Donated Bits, Promotions from new games or game events, and many others. You will get a hefty 50% pay cut in your earning
The requirement to get Twitch Affiliate is the lowest in all live streaming service affiliate programs. Some Reddit users even reach the requirement in just 4 days. Joining Twitch Affiliate is recommended because there is a big community that will help you if you have trouble and make your streaming journey easier
If you have difficulty on reaching the requirement, using strategies like picking a popular game (we recommend Among Us because it’s popular and easy to collaborate with other streamers), collaborating with more popular streamers, and have good interaction with your follower will help you as a streamer in long term. Using YouTube to place your edited highlighted video can make you gain follower from your YouTube subscribers
2. Twitch Partnership Program
After becoming a Twitch Affiliate, you can upgrade your qualification into Twitch Partner. This is the highest level you can get on Twitch, if you achieve this, you can be considered as a successful Twitch streamer. With the requirement of 25 hours of stream, 12 different days of stream in 30 days, and an average of 75 viewers (excluding raid), you can apply to become Twitch Partner. Note that you need to undergo a strict review process manually by the Twitch Partnerships team in 7 days. Even if you achieve the requirement to become Twitch Partner, there is no guarantee that you will be accepted. It’s a subjective review, so if you don’t get accepted. You can improve some of your metrics and re-apply again. Some streamers even need to apply more than four times before they get accepted. It’s not the end of the world if you are not accepted. You can try your luck next time.
If you successfully applied, you become Twitch Partner and have VIP membership in the community. Twitch Partner enjoy the following benefit:
- Earn a Monthly subscription of $4.99, $9.99, $24.99 from your followers
- Verified badge for your channel
- Up to 50 Custom emote
- Control access to your archives so your videos can be watched by your follower only
- Restrict your chat to followers only chat
- Control your ads by disabling ads or enabling them at specific times
- Give your followers the custom badge of your channel
- Join merch by Amazon and earn money from merchandise
- 40% pay cut, some top streamer managed to negotiate to 30% pay cut
You can turn your streaming hobby into a job that can earn lucrative money. Top streamer in Twitch can easily earn millions just from their contract
3. Facebook Gaming Creator Level Up program
With the requirement of having a minimum of 100 followers and four hours broadcasted in 2 weeks, and an account activated more than 14 days, you can join the Facebook Gaming Creator Level Up program. The benefit you may enjoy:
- Earn donation from your followers in form of Facebook Star (Currency in Facebook gaming, just like Bits in Twitch)
- Access Beta Program
- High Quality 1080p 60fps 6000kbps bitrate transcoding (Recommended to have minimum 6Mbps internet)
- Community invitation
- Only 30% pay cut to your earning, so you can easily earn more
4. Facebook Gaming Partner
Just like you can upgrade your affiliate program in Twitch, you can do the same. But the requirement is stricter than Twitch Partner. You need to have at least 3000 engaged/active followers and earn $2000 (200,000 Facebook Star) in a month. This is a hard number to reach to be qualified compared with the easier requirement in Twitch Partner program.
Which one is better between Twitch Affiliate and Facebook Gaming Level Up Program?
If you want to earn more, Facebook Gaming is a better platform for you because you will only get a 30% pay cut from your earnings compared with Twitch 50% in Twitch Affiliate and 40% in Twitch Partner program. It’s also easier to gain followers if you stream in Asia because Facebook Gaming is more popular in Asia.
But it’s harder for you to progress because the qualification to become Facebook Gaming Partner is harder to achieve.
With Twitch, you will have more community to interact with and even with a bigger pay cut, you can earn more from the higher number of followers in the community. It’s also easier to become Twitch Partner. Since Amazon owned Twitch, you will have more opportunity to monetize your channel compared with Facebook
Winners: Twitch if your visitor mostly came from the USA and EU, Facebook Gaming if your followers mostly Asian (except Chinese, they have their own popular live streaming platform)