It has been roughly 6 months since I changed from primarily streaming on Twitch to streaming on Facebook gaming, and I have to say the differences are staggering! Lets talk about it! In that 6 months, I have gained over 800 page likes/follows! Compared to my year on twitch with 120 follows, it is a difference worth talking about.
A love letter to Facebook Gaming is not required, however I want to highlight the extreme differences in some things that Facebook Gaming just does better than Twitch. I won’t get into the DMCA nonsense, you can read about that stuff some other time. But what I will highlight is the analytics that Facebook captures about demographics.
This is a touchy subject for people and this is also why it is harder to stream on Facebook, because privacy is such a huge concern to viewers of streams on Facebook. Getting people to talk on Facebook Gaming is a lot harder than it is on Twitch for sure, but they make up for it with very detailed analytics, which to me, are very important.
Unlike Twitch, I can see how many people viewed the stream, for how long, and at what part of the stream. I can see what I was doing at that time, and I can try and learn from what I did, what kept them engaged, and what caused a drop-off. This same process on Twitch, requires you to re-watch your entire stream, and try and figure out what your viewership was like at that time. As they don’t show you when watching your own VOD (Video on Demand).
I will 100% admit, I have used the page analytics and stream analytics (which we will discuss below, with beautiful pictures), to grow my platform. That is right, this stuff actually helped me build a bigger platform, and I hope to continue doing just that!
Get ready for pictures! Because here is the big-picture analytics (not individual stream, overall page) that make a difference, and can help you, the streamer, tailor your content!
As you can see from the picture above, we can showcase our page likes, and get a breakdown by Gender. (hot topic gender information) and See their age groups for following. Clearly this is very valuable information, as the entire page itself (facebook.com/livesimmy) has a demographic, and it is starting to show. But lets break this down more.
Now that we have the breakdown of age and gender, we can see where a majority of our stream viewers are coming from. Again, this helps identify exactly what we can do to help tailor the stream. As seen, my page has a very large Mexican following, and I have no clue why! But I won’t argue with it, all are welcome!
And finally, we have our breakdown of countries viewership. It is nice to have a nice breakdown like this. The reason why it says Top countries twice, is the one of the left is my Facebook Page, and the one on the right is my Instagram Account (instagram.com/livesimmy) which is linked to my Facebook Page.
Clearly with all this information on the page, we can figure out a way to tailor content. This doesn’t exist on Twitch, whatsoever!
The following information will be based off of one stream:
A fun fact, 1 stream, the mid season update for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (WARZONE). This was a mid-tier stream for me, I cherry picked this stream for screen-shots as I wanted to have a large stream to base the content off of. My streams as of late are only 4 hours, while this stream was 8 hours. So I had a larger pool of data to showcase.
And I would like to stress with the information about the analytics at this time, that they don’t contain anything that links to any one person. I use the analytics to look at potential audiences, and to identify where I am losing my audience, and where I am gaining it.
For my friends who stop by my stream, (That is anyone who likes/follows, or stumbles across my content), I am writing this post to be as transparent with you as possible. At no point in time do any of these analytics say who was watching, if Facebook tracks that data, it is not shared with the streamer, and rightfully so. I don’t wanna know if/when Billy Bob Viewer is watching me. I just need to know age groups, and approximate location (country basically), because those two pieces of data help me understand the audience. After that, I just wanna see how, when, and why I lost or gained viewers. The other metrics that help are the game, the title, and my stream description, all of which could help the algorithm place my stream on pages. But those aren’t really important to this discussion.
Streaming isn’t an exact science, but it is an oversaturated field to be involved in. So being successful requires that you be attentive to details such as drop off time, spike time, and some other refined details.
Now, we are getting into the bread and butter of Facebook Gaming’s analytics, we are going to break down the actual stream Analytics.
Starting out strong with our Live Broadcast Summary, we can see a lot of information about the stream, see a lot of metrics, we will build up from there. This is all vital information for streamers.
From there, we can see the Viewer Activity. This gives us an overall view of how this video performed once it was published (post stream). So it as we can see here, it did fairly well for a small streamer like myself. This kind of metric helps me figure out where, and what I can do to improve my stream.
Now we get into the meat of the stream, Audience Retention, as we can see here, I lost people after 6:03, and the average watch time for viewers became 2:16. Now this is where being in the stream helps. Facebook doesn’t track you, if you swap out of the tab, i.e. you have it open, but you go into another tab and do something. With that said though, my viewership stayed pretty active. If people left, others joined, and the bar barely moved down from where it was.
So who was our core audience? Well, 17% came from recommendations that Facebook itself made, then my followers made up 82.8% more. After that, shares with 0.27%. So with other metrics, we can see just how many times the stream was shared, so it isn’t hard to figure out why it had a low share volume. As there were only 7 shares of this stream. But hey, I’m not scoffing at it. Not at all. I appreciate any and love I get!
So what reactions did I get? Well, this is the real meat that I like, I can see how people reacted, its shares, comments, you know, the important stuff. Heck, this is all important stuff. But there is something else to come….
So here is the real meat of the audience retention. That beautiful blue bar on the left is clickable, and it will jump the video, located on the right, to that moment in the stream. This is where you, as the streamer, can see what you were doing when your stream spiked in viewers, or dropped. This allows me to make improvements to the stream that I couldn’t imagine figuring out any other way.
A lot of streamers will re-watch their entire stream, and try and take notes of things to improve, and this is a very healthy practice, but if you do not have the time to go back over, and watch a 8 hour stream like this one here was. You can consider this to be the Coles-Notes of streaming by highlighting via the metrics provided the area’s of your stream to look closely at.
Now Twitch has amazing features, like channel points, bits, subs, bots etc, and you get those pretty quickly, after 50 follows. Facebook is not so easy. Twitch has its strengths, and I find that those strengths really do help produce a great streaming experience. I would love to see Facebook Gaming emulate some of these features, as it would hopefully help bring the streams to the next level.
As I mentioned above, bots are a thing Twitch has, Facebook Gaming does not really have bots in the way Twitch does, it is very limited for FB Gaming. Making it complicated to automate things, and most sites like Streamlabs / StreamElements don’t properly link up with Facebook (at the time of writing this). An example would be, reactions on stream, someone ‘hearts’ your stream, you don’t get notifications, despite those systems providing a way to get notifications for it. It is broken, you have to use Facebooks internal system, and it doesn’t look pretty. Facebook wants you to use their internal stuff and don’t really support 3rd party solutions.
This is where Twitch has mad upside to Facebook Gaming.
Get to the point
The point here is folks, every platform has its ups and downs, but the Analytics for me is a huge thing that just cannot be beaten. Facebook Gaming has a long way to go, but it is where I call home for streaming.
If you don’t want your personal information existing on Facebook for streaming, I suggest tweeting at them and requesting ‘stream handles’ to protect your privacy. I mention this a lot on Facebook Gaming threads on Facebook, and on Twitter. I honestly don’t need to be able to click your profile on stream other than to mute/block, nor do I need to be able to see your real name. That is the draw back for a lot of people for streams on Facebook. But we can address this together and help the platform grow substantially and tailor it to our needs. We will never lose the analytics such as locations, and what time the drop-offs on stream happen, in fact, those metrics will only get better with time. Which is great for the streamer and really shouldn’t be any concern of privacy to a viewer.
As any entertainer will tell you, know your audience, and that is what I would like to do! So if you read this article by clicking it off of my Facebook Page, please drop a comment and let me know what your take is on it. And if you found it through other means, drop a comment here, lets discuss the platform.