Facebook Live videos are now available for all the iPhone users in the United States, after initially being a privilege just for a select few.
The social networking platform initially launched live video streaming in August 2015, but at the time it only provided this type of service to handful of celebrities (musicians, politicians, actors, athletes and other public figures) via the Mentions app.
Afterwards, ever since December, Facebook Live was also unveiled for a limited number of users who were part of the Verified Pages network.
This allowed media companies, brand representatives, business owners and other users who had obtained a blue badge certifying that their profile is authentic to share news and interact with fans more easily than before.
Now, after trial testing allowed developers to identify potential bugs or areas of improvement in this feature, Facebook Live has been incorporated in the Facebook app designed for iOS devices across the entire nation, and can therefore be accessed by anyone who owns an iPhone.
The announcement regarding the expansion of this eagerly anticipated service has been made on Wednesday, January 28, in a Facebook Newsroom post authored by product manager Vadim Lavrusik.
In order to get started with Facebook Live, one must simply tap the “Update Status” box, and then choose the Live Video icon, showing the stylized shape of a person’s head with a set of two halos around it.
Before launching the broadcast, one can compose a short description to accompany the video, and select which members of the friend list will have access to the live stream.
Throughout the transmission, the broadcaster will be informed regarding the exact user names of those who are watching the video, and also regarding the total number of active viewers. A comment section will also be available, so that the user streaming the online video can exchange thoughts and opinions with the audience in real-time.
At the end of the broadcast, the clip will be automatically saved, winding up in the user’s Facebook Timeline. From there, it will be possible either to delete it or share it with other friends who haven’t been online during the live transmission, or who enjoyed the initial video stream so much that they wish to re-watch it.
Potential viewers will be able to see the clips as they’re being broadcast in their News Feed. In addition, choosing the “subscribe button” while watching the video stream will give viewers the chance to receive notifications whenever a new live stream from a friend or a favorite celebrity is being circulated.
Apparently, developers are working on including Facebook Live in the Android version of the app as well, but it may take another few weeks until this is finally achieved.
It remains to be seen how much longer it will take before the functionality can be accessed by all of Facebook’s 1.5 billion users, and how successful it will turn out to be.
Unlike Twitter’s Periscope, which broadcasts live streams to virtually everyone and only allows clips to be viewed for 24 hours, Facebook Live offers the select audience the chance to see the videos whenever they want to, as long as the broadcaster has chosen to store the footage in the Timeline.
Facebook’s feature will surely benefit from extensive traction, given the fact that around 3 billion videos are already being watched every day on the social network platform.
At the same time Periscope has recently been declared by Apple the iPhone App of the Year, after managing to attract more than 10 million active members, and may boost user engagement with the sense of urgency given by its temporary video streaming.
Image Source: Facebook Newsroom