Facebook Starts Testing Live Video Streaming For The Masses
Edging closer to Periscope, social network gives a small number of US iPhone users ability to live stream. Still no access for business Pages.
Facebook is dropping the velvet rope on live streaming video. Today, the social network announced that it is giving a select group of US iPhone users the ability to broadcast live from within the Facebook platform.
At launch in August, Facebook’s live streaming feature was available only to celebrities and other public figures with access to Mentions, an iOS app designed to help high-profile people to manage their Facebook presence. In September, Facebook opened Mentions to all verified users, and now it’s starting the process of giving everyone access, beginning with five percent of US iPhone users.
They will have the option to select a “live video” icon when they start posting a status update. After writing a description and sharing with their preferred audience, they can launch the live stream. During the broadcast, they are able to see the number of live viewers, names of friends tuning in and a stream of comments in real-time. After the broadcast ends, videos are saved on users’ Timelines.
No Video Streaming For Business Pages
Still left out, however, are Facebook Pages. For now, businesses that want to engage consumers with live video will have to stick to Periscope, Meerkat, Blab, UStream or the like.
That’s likely to change in the future, given Facebook’s heavy emphasis on video of all types. Facebook video gets more than eight billion views a day, and the company has shown no hesitancy to eventually roll out video features to all users, including businesses. But for now, most marketers will have to wait.
How long? We asked Facebook about plans to give live video access to business Pages and will update this post when we get a response.
Starting with celebrities for live streaming has allowed Facebook to make sure its technical infrastructure was robust enough to handle large traffic spikes like the one million viewers it took on during a Vin Diesel live stream last month. You can read more about the technical challenges on Facebook’s engineering blog.
Also included in today’s update is a new consumer-facing collage feature for sharing photos and video. Photos and videos on people’s camera rolls will be grouped in “scrolling, moving” collages based on when they were taken. Collages can be edited, added to, rearranged and given a title before sharing.
The feature is rolling out on the iPhone app today and will be available for Android early next year. Collages are viewable on iOS and Android devices.