Mobile platform BlueStacks is investing big in integrating Facebook Live into its service to let users stream games and more to the social network.
BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma described contextual streaming as the "future of live", but just how can Facebook users get involved?
We caught up with BlueStacks Senior Director of Marketing Yuriy Yarovoy to find out more about the move, why BlueStacks is investing resources into livestreaming and what the future holds.
PocketGamer.biz: What is this big update you guys are so excited about?
Yuriy Yarovoy: We’re very excited to bring app streaming to Facebook Live for our 150+ million users. You can now stream any Android app right to your timeline, your friend’s timeline, a page you own or even a group.
We believe that giving users the ability to stream apps to Facebook Live completely changes live streaming.
People can now have context to their streams. If people want a structured stream rather than a free-form rant, they can open up a game or app and both they and their audiences have a new focal point.
And this isn’t just for gaming. Since you no longer have to hold you phone in your hand, you’re free to stream more interesting content.
For instance, there are a few really cool karaoke apps like Sing! Karaoke. In our beta testing, we had really great singers load the app and stream it to their fan pages.
Their fans would request songs live in the chat. It created a layer of interaction not available on Facebook, a great opportunity especially given Facebook’s scale.
Why is BlueStacks putting so many resources behind livestreaming?
We want to give our users the best experience possible, whether gaming or streaming. It’s not really a question of allocating resources.
As we roll out more platform features, we want our users to have the tools they need in order to be competitive as they play and interesting as they stream.
This is really just the beginning, as live streaming is still in its infancy.
As people adopt live streaming as the new video medium, we want to provide interesting content to enhance their streams. We’re not limiting this to just gaming.
As I mentioned before, the sky's the limit for what you can stream. We’ve had fitness coaches load their favourite workout app and live stream workouts to their clients.
We’re learning that context creates better content and so we’re trying to remove obstacles that may prevent people from being more interesting.
Why do you think Facebook Live is something BlueStacks users will adopt?
We’ve asked ourselves this question when we rolled out our Twitch integration. Will people use it? Are mobile games interesting to stream?
The answer was a resounding yes.
It’s amazing how many of our users adopted Twitch. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of users sign up to Twitch through us. Many of these people would never have streamed or found the barrier to entry simply too high.
Before we added Twitch integration, streaming mobile apps required extra hardware and technical skills. Using BlueStacks TV let users click a few buttons and they were streaming with the same quality as the pro streamers they looked up to.
Facebook is the evolution of this mentality. There are 1.6 billion users on Facebook. As a distribution channel, it’s simply massive.
By combining live streaming and Android apps inside this huge social network, we’re giving people the opportunity to share as much or as little as they want.
What I mean by this is people can create small groups to stream really interesting content to or they can make their streams public and grow a fanbase.
We saw a real example of this when people started making Facebook groups around niche games and sharing live streamed walkthroughs of certain levels.
At a more high-level, Facebook is not a monetised streaming platform, yet. It’s very much a place, especially given its scale, where anyone can grow and nurture an audience.
We want to give people the tools to keep that audience engaged and when monetisation does come, people find value in streaming through BlueStacks.
Why Facebook Live instead of Twitch, isn’t Twitch more game-focused anyway?
As the largest mobile gaming platform in the world, we want to give people a choice in where and how they distribute their content.
Facebook is 10x larger than Twitch and has a broader audience. We’re excited to see both of these networks grow.
BlueStacks in China has partnered with DouYo and PandaTV to do this same thing and adoption has been out of this world.
How is China different from the rest of the world?
Well, for starters, the live streaming market in China is much more mature than the US. The content being streamed is well beyond just gaming.
Social eating, beauty tips and news are all streamed around the clock from millions of smartphones across China.
Bringing app streaming to our Chinese market was a natural extension of what we’ve already been doing.
So what’s next for BlueStacks?
We have a pretty full product pipeline for the next 18 months.
Our main focus is to give people the content, features, and tools they ask for and require in order to have a better experience inside and out of BlueStacks.
It’s safe to say our next few product rollouts, we believe, are going to be revolutionary in the mobile, live streaming, and gaming spaces.