Facebook begins rolling out Live video streaming for everyone

4 Dec 2015

Broadcast yourself to the masses - Facebook's rival to Periscope and Meerkat is being made available for everyone to use.

Just four months after revealing Live video streaming for celebrities and high-profile types, Facebook is now making the feature available to everyone via its mobile app.

Starting with a small selection of iOS users first, users will be able to start live video streams by selecting the “live video” icon on their update status menu.

The move will heighten the competition against Twitter’s rival Periscope service as well as platforms like Meerkat.

However, unlike Meerkat or Periscope, users’ live videos can be saved to their timeline for posterity, if they so wish.

Broadcast yourself


“Live lets you show the people you care about what you’re seeing in real time — whether you’re visiting a new place, cooking your favorite recipe, or just want to share some thoughts,” explained Vadim Lavrusik, product manager at Facebook.

“No matter where you are, Live lets you bring your friends and family right next to you to experience what’s happening together.”

During the broadcast, users will be able to see the number of live viewers and the names of friends who are tuning in, as well as a real-time stream of comments.

If you like what you see you can also tap a ‘Subscribe’ button to be notified anytime a favourite friend or broadcaster uses Live.

A collage experience for photographs


As well as bringing Live to the masses, Facebook has introduced a new scrolling collage feature for finding and sharing photos.

“When you tap on Photo, you’ll see recent moments from your camera roll organized into collages based on when and where you took them,” said Thai Tran, product manager at Facebook.

“You can edit your collage by adding, removing or re-arranging the photos and videos that you want to include.

“When you’re done, you can add a title to the collage before sharing. Collages will begin rolling out on iPhone today and will be available on Android early next year,” Tran added.

A new sharing paradigm at Facebook

Facebook also revealed that through the process it realised the process of sharing requires a rethink.

It said it is now piloting a new design with a few people on iPhone and Android where they can now tap “What’s on your mind?” at the top of News Feed to see a drop down menu of all the different options they can share.

“This will allow us to include new sharing features in the future,” Tran added.

Live streaming image via Shutterstock

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