Just over two years after its launch, Facebook is shutting down the Facebook Gaming app on October 28, 2022. Now, when you open the app, you'll see a banner stating that the app will no longer be available on iOS and Android after that date. The app also won't be available on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
"Despite this news, our mission to connect players, fans and creators with the games they love hasn't changed, and you'll still be able to find your games, streamers and groups when you visit Gaming in the Facebook app," the notice reads. "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 this app first launched."
If you've been using the app, you can download your search data before the app is discontinued.
The app launched in April 2020 toward the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for users to watch their favorite streamers, play instant games and take part in gaming groups. Facebook experienced some hurdles trying to launch the app, as Apple rejected the app numerous times, citing its rules that prohibit apps with the main purpose of distributing casual games. Apple's rules forced Facebook to remove actual gameplay functionality from the app.
“We know how important gaming is to our community and remain committed to connecting our gaming community with the content they love," a spokesperson for Meta told TechCrunch in a statement. "The standalone Facebook Gaming app has been an incredible environment for our gaming team to test and iterate on a wide variety of gaming-specific features and products, and many of these features have found a home in the main Facebook App. We’ll continue to support our gaming communities, developers, and creators on the main Facebook app where hundreds of millions of people play games, watch gaming video, and connect in gaming Groups each month."
The announcement comes as Meta has been testing new services and killing off old ones. Most recently, Facebook announced that it's shutting down its live shopping feature on October 1 to shift its focus to Reels. After this date, you will no longer be able to host any new or scheduled live shopping events on Facebook. Livestream video shopping became publicly available on Facebook two years ago, following a series of smaller trials and beta tests. However, Facebook says it’s now shifting away from live video shopping to focus on Reels.
On the other hand, Meta is testing a new livestreaming platform for influencers called “Super." The new platform allows influencers to host livestreams, earn revenue and engage with viewers. The company has reportedly paid influencers between $200 and $3,000 to use the platform for 30 minutes. Super entered development in late 2020 and is currently being built by Meta’s New Product Experimentation team. The platform, which looks to have similar functionality to Twitch, is currently being tested with fewer than 100 creators.
Update 08/30/22 1:30 PM ET: Article was updated to include a statement from Meta.