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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 04, 2016

Facebook moves to gain bigger slice of eSports action

Interest in eSports continues to grow and big organizations are paying it more attention including the world's biggest social network - Facebook.

by Helen Leggatt

Earlier this year, a deal with Blizzard Entertainment, whose retinue of games includes big eSports names such as Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III, Starcraft II and, most recently, Overwatch, put Facebook into the eSports arena with the likes of Twitch and YouTube.

By offering a live eSports stream to its more than 1 billion users, Facebook will be looking to snatch a slice of Twitch's 100 million user-strong market share by offering gamers a larger audience to share their screens with.

According to a report in The Information, Facebook has had "extensive conversations" with the developers of the mobile game 'Vainglory' with the aim of streaming professional competitions on the social network.

According to Adobe Digital Insights' '2016 Gaming Report', the social following of eSports is growing faster than almost all other traditional sports. The social following of eSports is now larger the National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball and trails behind only the National Basketball Association.

"Esports had a 57% annual growth rate in followers, meaning it is growing faster than those other sports," said Becky Tasker, managing analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. "Esports will be a winner in the next couple of years in following, fandom, and excitement. It's ever-growing and morphing, while traditional sports are static."

Tags: eSports, gaming, social media, trends

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