Last year Facebook made the live video streaming available to celebrities, athletes, and journalists and since then learned a mind-blowing thing or two about it.
People comment more than 10 times more on live videos than on regular videos and watch live broadcasts more than three times longer.
Facebook started to roll out the feature on the iOS Facebook app in December and on the Android app in February. All you need to do is go update your status and dab the Facebook Live icon. You can write a short description of the video and then just go live.
A quick check of several phones revealed the functionality was available on iPhone 5c and iPhone 6, but not on a couple of phones running Android 4.2.2 and Android 6.
The new features allow you to go live not only from your status update, but also from your Event page or from your Group page, limiting the audience to only the people subscribed to the pages. While streaming, you can also directly invite your friends to come watch.
During your live stream you can now also add filters similar to those found on Instagram. Facebook also promises to add an ability to draw a doodle on the video during live streaming.
From the viewer’s perspective, when you dab one of the standard six emoji reactions while watching a live video, the icon will pop up on the bottom right of the video and float away to the left.
“Live Reactions appear in real time and disappear quickly so broadcasters and other viewers can get a sense of how people are feeling at different points during the live video,” Facebook April 6 release states. “[I]t’s like hearing the crowd applaud and cheer.”
When you finish your broadcast, it gets saved as one of your videos. The difference is that comments on the video will appear while playing the video at the times when they were added during the original broadcast.
Facebook also added a new video icon to the apps that takes you to live videos of people, creators, and topics you may be interested in and also allows you to search live videos.
On desktop, there’s a new Facebook Live Map feature that shows you points on a world map where live broadcasts are happening.
All these new features will be rolled out over the next couple of weeks, according to the Facebook release.