This time a year ago, most streamers would have agreed that the biggest barrier in their career was the inability to simulcast. While platforms like Twitch and YouTube remained lucrative, they restricted creators to only streaming on their platforms, thus limiting streamers’ growth and earning potential. But now, more platforms are removing exclusive streaming requirements from their platforms. Like Twitch, which lifted its simulcasting restrictions in October 2023. And now, Facebook Gaming is following suit.
Facebook Gaming announced simulcasting restrictions would lift on Feb. 1, 2024, saying in a statement, “We understand the importance of flexibility in the ever-expanding world of content creation, and this update reflects our commitment to adapting alongside you.” In addition, the platform noted they are moving away from exclusive contracts with big-name creators.
But after news of the update broke on Twitter/X, one thing became clear: for many creators, the move is too little too late.
“Huge news for the 8 people watching Facebook Gaming right now,” one streamer joked. But like most good jokes, this one was based on fact. Despite initially seeing some growth in 2021, there was a 24.2% decline in hours watched in 2021 and 2022, according to data compiled by Streamlabs. And by the third quarter of 2022, this decline shot up to 70.5%.
Another content creator speculated that this “wasn’t a decision that was made,” but one came about because the platform was rapidly running out of budget. “This was a consequence of poor management for years,” they wrote. “It’s been known that it was coming for a long time.”
“For years I believed in Facebook Gaming,” another streamer tweeted. “I thought it was going to be something huge. Started my journey over there in 2017 then my page flooded with bots after running ads thinking I could reach more viewers in 2018/2019. Then I moved to Twitch.”
That being said, Twitch is far from perfect. They recently laid off 500 people, and have had numerous controversial policy changes in the past few months. But Facebook Gaming is clearly a long way off from ever being seen in the same league as Twitch, even if they’re now copying the platform’s policies.