Facebook is rolling out the ability to live stream videos to all Android users, starting with the US. The Live Video feature was launched for iOS users in the US earlier this month, with a global rollout planned over the next few months. The iOS feature is currently available in 30 countries.
Facebook will add a button to share live videos on the “Update status” line on its Android app, and also let users choose the audience they want to share it with. To go live users need to tap “What’s on your mind?” at the top of News Feed and select the Live Video icon. Users can then enter a description before streaming. The company will also archive the videos on the timeline, so that they can be played back if missed.
People watching the stream can comment, and the people making the stream can see those comments in real time. While a video is being streamed, users can press subscribe and get notifications from the uploader whenever they are live. As of now, Facebook claims that around half of the people watching live videos use Android.
Note that Facebook had launched the Live feature in August last year, exclusively for verified celebrities, journalists and the likes, to engage with fans and audiences. The service is basically looking to take on Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat. While Facebook saves the live streamed videos for future viewing, clips are immediately deleted on Meerkat and only live for 24 hours on Periscope.
– In December, Facebook started testing a feature called ‘services’ that lets users find local businesses which users can review and rate. The new feature is available universally, and lists professional services like plumbers, spa, beauty & personal care, pet service, medical & health and automotive etc.
– In November, it launched a messenger app called Work Chat on Android which will allow co-workers to message each other individually, participate in group chats, share photos and videos, make voice calls, and even use stickers.
– In the same month, Facebook was testing ‘fundraisers’, a new tool for nonprofit organizations to raise money for specific projects. It is also working on improving the Donate button, which it introduced for nonprofits in August, to allow people to donate to charities without leaving Facebook.
– In September, Facebook launched a discovery and curation tool called Signal for journalists, which would allow them to track trending and breaking news.
– The same month, the company started allowing media companies, organizations, and individual creators to publish 360 degree videos. In March, Facebook had introduced an embedded video player, a new social plugin that would enable publishers to embed native Facebook videos in a video player.