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Facebook launches its own livestreaming app limited to celebrities

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Social networking giant Facebook has launched its own livestreaming service through its Facebook Mentions app which allows verified influencers and celebrities to engage with fans and audiences. The service called Live is looking to take on Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat.

Verified users can point their phone at themselves or something else, press a button and can stream live to their followers on Facebook. People watching the stream can comment, and the people making the stream can see those comments in real time.

Facebook will also archive the videos, so you can play them back if you missed them live. Note that clips are immediately deleted on Meerkat and only live for 24 hours on Periscope.

Re/Code reports that Facebook will send alerts to celebrities’ fans when they start a livestream. It will also send notifications to people who have recently interacted with a influencer by liking or commenting on an activity. The report adds that even if users haven’t liked a famous person’s post in the last month or so, there are decent odds that the  livestream will pop up in newsfeeds as other friends would have liked and commented on the celebrities.

So far Facebook has broadcasts from Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Serena Williams,Luke Bryan, Ricardo Kaká, Ashley Tisdale, Lester Holt, Martha Stewart, and Michael Bublé .

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Apart from Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook will have to contend with Snapchat which allows businesses and celebrities to send out short promotional video messages.

There’s also Viber which introduced public chats in November last year. Through the service, users can follow and interact with personalities, celebrities and brands. These public chats, which are essentially group chats viewable by anyone on the service, allow only a limited number of users to post messages, pictures, stickers and videos.

Public chats can have 99 participants who can  send messages in the chat and change the chat’s information. There can be any number of followers who can only view the chats and not edit or contribute in anyway. Public chats will be available for iOS and Android users first. Some of the celebrities Viber has taken on board in India are  Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Saina Nehwal.

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