Facebook launches Periscope-style video feature for celebrities only

6 Aug 2015

Facebook has finally started targeting the Periscope live-streaming market, but for public figures only

Facebook has finally started targeting the Periscope live-streaming market, but in probably the elitist way possible — for public figures only.

If we can assume that Facebook hasn’t entirely lost its marbles, then this is just a toe in the water, a test if you will, for what may come.

The social network has launched Live, a new way for public figures like athletes, musicians, politicians, and the current generation’s celebrities who are celebrities for doing nothing more valuable than being celebrities, to connect with their fans.

More than 900m people out of Facebook’s 1.5bn audience are connected to “public figures” on Facebook, said Vadim Lavrusik, product manager at the social network.

Social cachet for celebrities?


Live: Facebook’s new Periscope-style feature for celebrities only

“Today, we’re excited to introduce Live, a new way for public figures to share live video from Mentions with their fans on Facebook. With Live, public figures can take fans behind the scenes, host a Q&A, share announcements, and more — all in real time.”

So, it also seems to be a bit of a land-grab by Facebook to capture the Ask Me Anything (AMA) momentum spearheaded by Reddit.

The Live feature allows public figures to grow their fanbase, interact directly with fans and other public figures in real-time and publish the video anytime they choose.

Public figures will have access to a Live Video button inside their posts and can tap the Go Live button when they are ready.

Public figures will also have access to data such as how many viewers they have and they will be able to see comments in real-time.

The functionality seems superb and could really give Facebook an edge in an exciting new market currently being pioneered by Twitter-owned Periscope.

But why is it being wasted on celebrities?

It could be an attempt to secure some social cachet for the Live feature ahead of a more general release.

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Smartphone video image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years