Facebook Live videos to dominate the News Feed and mobile app

6 Apr 2016

Facebook is overhauling Live videos, making it more prominent on mobile apps and creating new tools for users to invite others to join and react to videos

Facebook has made video a top priority and has overhauled its Facebook Live video feature to include support for groups, reactions, events and a global map to make content discoverable.

Facebook said today (6 April) that Live video is now a priority on the social network.

It will be tweaking Live video to be more prominent in News Feed and it will also be placing a Live video button on its mobile app where Messenger used to be. Now a blue logo of a play icon will appear in its place.

As well as this, the company will be rolling out the ability to go Live in Facebook Groups and Facebook Events.

It will also be adding in new Live Reactions, enabling users to express their feelings in real time. Viewers can select Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry, and the reactions animate right on top of the video.

Facebook will also be adding the ability for users to send an invitation to a friend to watch a Live video with them. A handy invite icon will feature at the bottom left of the mobile app, similar to a tagging feature, and friends will automatically receive a push notification.


Live invite for friends on Facebook’s iOS app

A new mapping feature is also being revealed for desktop users to provide users with a window into what’s happening in real-time on Live video.

The new Live features will be rolling out on iOS and Android in the coming weeks.

Get in on the Live action


Product manager Fidji Simo said the company has been blown away by how people are using Live Video.

“Parents are using it to share moments in their kids’ lives with their extended families,” said Simo. “Athletes are giving people a window into their training. Chefs are bringing their fans into their kitchen. Journalists are hosting global conversations on topics they care about. Aspiring musicians can now put on a live concert for their friends. Many people all over the world are using Facebook Live in many different ways to talk to and interact with the people that matter most to them.”


The new Live desktop map that shows users in real-time where Live videos are happening

He said that people are 10 times more likely to comment on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.

“Live video on Facebook is truly interactive as broadcasters engage with their commenters and respond to their suggestions and questions. In fact, from initial data, we’ve seen that people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos. We want people watching the broadcast after the fact to feel ‘in’ on the action. To achieve this, we will replay comments as they happened during the live broadcast when people watch it later.”

Video image via Shutterstock

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