In a social media world where companies must move lightning-fast to keep up with the competition, Facebook has been decidedly circumspect with its roll-out of live video. In August, it let celebrity types try it out. In December, it gave the general public a small taste of what it’s like to share live video on the platform, then graciously extended to privilege to everyone in the U.S. with an iPhone the following month.
Well, today, Facebook has finally opened the floodgates with a deluge of new features for Facebook Live that will be rolling out on iOS and Android over the coming weeks, including a new section of the app dedicated to live video.
Live for Groups and Events
The new feature enables users to broadcast directly to a group, whether it’s a collection of family members and friends or people who’ve RSVP’d for an event. Users will also be able to schedule live Q&A sessions.
Live Reactions, Replay Comments, Live Filters
Viewers can select the reactions recently launched in Facebook’s News Feed — love, laughter, wow, sad or angry — and they will animate on top of the video in real time and disappear quickly, so broadcasters and other viewers can get a sense of how people are feeling. When users’ friends react to a video, they will see the freind’s profile photo and a little starburst before their reaction appears. During replay, comments will appear as they did during the live broadcast.
Live Creative Tools
Beginning today, users will be able to choose between five filters, and they soon will have the ability to draw or doodle on their videos while they’re live.
Invite Friends, Live Video Destination and Live Map
Starting today, users will be able to send a friend an invitation to watch directly from a live video. Users will tap on the invite icon, and their friends will receive a push notification with the invitation.
To improve discovery, Facebook is also adding video icon on the mobile app that users can tap to go to a new section where they can find videos from friends and favorite creators, as well as those covering topics they’re interested. From this spot, users can also search live and non-live videos or choose to broadcast live themselves.
Desktop users as are not being left out completely: they’re getting a Facebook Live Map that will gives users a window into what’s happening with live video around the globe.