A new Facebook Live streaming feature is being tested by some lucky users, after the service had initially been available just for a select number of public figures.
The service debuted in August, but could only be accessed by a small number of famous people, using the Facebook Mentions app.
Among those who were given the opportunity to broadcast live videos to their huge number of followers were professional tennis player Serena Williams, Canadian singer and songwriter Michael Bublé, TV personality Martha Stewart and retired WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Aside from the fact that the footage that they filmed could be shared instantly with potential viewers via the News Feed, the videos also remained stored on the celebrities’ official Facebook profile, so as to be accessed and rewatched at a later date.
Now, this feature which is bound to be hugely popular as more and more users test it has been introduced for average Joes also, as revealed in a blog post authored by Thai Tran, Product Manager for Facebook Photos and Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager
So far, it’s being supported solely by iPhone devices, and it only takes just a couple of taps on the screen to get started. First, one has to press “Update Status” in the Facebook app, and afterwards the “Live Video” option must be selected.
From that point on, Facebook will access the mobile phone’s camera, and transmit everything that it’s currently filming to all of the people included in the user’s friendlist.
This way, it will be possible to make one’s social media presence much potent and authentic than before, by allowing people to access an actual slice of life, right as it unfolds.
For example, it will be easier than ever before to witness someone’s reaction upon receiving an important news, or after unwrapping a Christmas present, conveying emotion much more accurately than mere words would be able to.
In addition, those who are separated by distance would be able to experience life-changing moments together, such as the first steps that a baby makes or a wedding ceremony that they haven’t been able to attend.
It would also be possible to document travelling experiences right as they unfold, not just to ensure that those special memories will always stay with you, but also to make your friends feel as if they were your companions throughout the entire journey.
Users who choose to use this brand new feature will be able to add a description to their live broadcast, just like the one available on YouTube.
They will also have the chance to select exactly who exactly among the people from their network will be able to watch their videos, so as to keep unwelcome prying eyes away from their personal pursuits.
Another tool included in Facebook Live will be the ability to know exactly how many views the footage has received, and who exactly has watched it.
Once the user has chosen to end the broadcast, there will be several options available: either store the video as part of the Timeline, or delete it so as to leave no trace that it has ever been made public.
For those wishing to be notified regarding new live videos being shared by their relatives, friends and acquaintances, there is even the possibility to subscribe, so as to ensure that one is always kept up to date regarding such broadcasts.
Overall, the feature seems to compete with other similar services, such as the Periscope app from Twitter, and the Meerkat app from Life on Air, which were both launched in March 2015, and have been competing in the live video streaming sector ever since.
Now, it appears that a new rival has emerged, and might actually trump them all, given Facebook’s huge mobile user base.
Image Source: Facebook Newsroom