Facebook Live – What’s This All About?

Facebook Live logoFacebook has been no stranger to video since 2013’s introduction of auto-playing clips on news feeds. With the recent introduction of Facebook Live, the social media giant is seeking to distance itself from other networks offering livestreaming video content with the added element of real-time interaction with the subject of the video.

How does Facebook Live work?

With one billion people on Facebook, and another one billion on YouTube, it seems the marriage of the technologies just makes sense. Videos are hot, hot, hot and taking social networking to a more intimate level. They can feature skateboarder Tony Hawk and his friends hanging out before practice, actor/comedian Ricky Gervais in his bathtub, and even President Obama livestreaming – it seems there is no limit to what we can find in online video.

Videos seem to happen spontaneously and take far less work that writing comparable content, making it a quick and easy go-to for people courageous enough to point the video their way and shoot. Facebook Live is making it even easier- no editing, just raw video, for up to 90 minutes.

Captured and relayed in real time, Facebook Live captures video on the spot and streams it, live, just as its name implies.

Use Facebook Live to watch the videos you want to see

When someone you are subscribed to posts a Facebook Live video, you can subscribe to future ones by this person by updating your settings. Go to your settings, click on ‘notifications’ and scroll to ‘Live Videos’ to receive notifications about current live video feeds of your friends.

Use Facebook Live to livestream yourself

When you go to update your status on your phone, you will see a little livestream button as one of the options alongside the check-in feature. The Facebook Live is currently only on your phone, not your computer. I also didn’t see it on my tablet, so it is really only activated in certain scenarios and not universally.

After you click the button for the livestream, you will be prompted to add a description of your video and to change the settings to only allow it to be shown to specific groups, just like regular posts (ie. Public, Friends… etc.). Click “Go Live”, it will give you a 3 second countdown and then you are live!

Your friends (or the people from your chosen list) can now see your live video in their Facebook stream. For some, it will play automatically and for others, they will need to click on it, depending on their setting. They can choose to subscribe to your future videos in settings. The replay of your live video will be posted for people to see who weren’t able to see it live. You can also save it to your phone for later use.

Facebook live can be a game-changer or a dud; as of now, it’s too early to tell. How do you plan on using Facebook Live?


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