Facebook fast-tracked the global launch of a standalone mobile gaming app, in an effort to tap into the increasingly popular segment during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

A company representative told Mobile World Live the Facebook Gaming app will initially be available only on Google Play, with an iOS version in the works for a later date.

Prior to today’s launch, the Gaming offering has been available within the main Facebook app for about a year, but the company claimed its move to introduce a dedicated app would allow people to easily “find and connect around their favourite games, streamers, Groups, and more.”

Among the main features will be a personalised gaming feed and the option to livestream games to Facebook from a phone, a move the company stated would allow gamers worldwide to try streaming “in an approachable way,” removing the need for using webcams or capture cards.

Users will also be able to discover gaming creators and watch videos from leading e-sports and gaming publishers, play instant games without the need to install additional apps, and connect in gaming community groups.

The app launch follows testing in Southeast Asia and Latin America, which has resulted in over 5 million installs on Google Play since late 2018.

Live game streaming has experienced a significant increase during the Covid-19 outbreak, and leading platforms such as Twitch and Mixer recorded their best revenue generating month in March, data from Apptopia showed.