Facebook has announced a new live video streaming option, and users with an iPhone and the Facebook app can get straight to broadcasting a live video to their friends, families, or the public on Facebook. Instead of searching all around the Facebook app options on your iPhone, simply open the Facebook app as if you are composing a status update (those who haven’t created a Facebook status update in a good while might need a refresher course). There’s a new icon on the bottom of the right side that looks like a person with half circles or waves around them, as seen in the following photo.
Clicking on that photo will bring up the question that lets you know Facebook wants to access your camera roll in order to create the video.
Click “OK” and also give Facebook permission to access the microphone.
Click “OK” so Facebook can hear the audio to your masterpiece video, and then “continue” to go live with streaming video on Facebook.
Facebook already has the iPhone set to “selfie” mode, with the Facebook visuals showing the front-facing camera scenes. Clicking the button in the top right-hand corner allows the camera to flip to the back camera. Then Facebook prompts you to “Go Live” and describe your live video — giving the selection of who you’d like to see your video, be it the public or a smaller selection of folks. Clicking “Go Live” means you’re going live to the world.
After creating your live video, Facebook lets you know that you’ve shared your first live video with the world — or whomever you’ve chosen via Facebook to share your live video with. Your live video will appear on your Facebook timeline, and comments from Facebook friends or others on Facebook will begin appearing, along with information about who has watched your video. Facebook also gives you the option of saving the Facebook video to your camera roll.
Choosing the option to save the Facebook live video to your camera roll does just that, granted there’s enough room on your iPhone or in your iPhone’s cloud storage. Clicking “Done” takes you back to Facebook (or wherever you were on your iPhone) and lets you watch your live Facebook creation, telling the world you were live, and also showing the number of views for your Facebook live video immediately.
Interestingly, the thumbnail photo of the live Facebook video is a blurred photo of your Facebook profile photo.
As reported by Business Insider, Facebook live and streaming video is about to be huge. The publication notes that Facebook’s live and streaming option will directly compete with Twitter’s Periscope live and streaming video option, which is very popular.
“Facebook’s live video is directly competing with Periscope, the Twitter-owned live streaming app that was named Apple’s app of the year for 2015. Unlike Periscope, broadcasts are saved permanently on Facebook unless you choose to hide or delete them. Periscope broadcasts currently expire after 24 hours, although the company has said it’s considering letting users save their videos permanently as well.
“Facebook also has an answer to Periscope’s notification system, which alerts you whenever someone you follow on Periscope has started streaming. While watching a live video on Facebook, you can tap a subscribe option at the top right to be notified whenever the person starts streaming again.”
(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)