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At Facebook’s F8 conference, the company launched the API for Facebook Live to all developers in order to let users and publisher to find more ways to ‘interact and share’ in real time on Facebook.

It has also launched a host of additions to video streaming:

– Facebook will have multiple live streaming options for its properties, starting with Groups and Events where users can broadcast just to the group, and for events, stream it for those who couldn’t attend the event, or schedule a live Q&A session.

– Live streaming will also have live reactions, replay comments for a later watch and live filters on the video. It also plans to add doodling capacities on the live video in the future. According to Facebook, users comment 10x more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.

– Live streamers can invite their friends from within a live video. On the mobile app, users can discover trending live videos, videos from friends and creators, and live videos from topics users are interested in. A search is also available for live videos.

Facebook Live Map on desktop will be available to 60 countries to share live video, along with metrics for Facebook Pages.

Incidentally, Facebook has also launched Rights Manager, an admin tool for Pages which will let them upload video clips which they don’t want others to use.

History of Facebook’s live stream:

Facebook had first launched the live streaming service through the Facebook Mentions app for celebs and ‘influencers’ to interact with fans and the audience in August last year. Verified users could point their phone at themselves or something else, press a button and stream live to their followers on Facebook. People watching the stream could comment, which would be visible to the broadcaster in real time.

Subsequently, in February, it rolled 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 the same month, with a global rollout planned over the next few months. The iOS feature was available in 30 countries.

Previous video developments:

– In September 2015, Facebook introduced 360 degree videos in its news feed, where publishers, along with other media companies, organizations, and individual creators would be able to publish 360 degree videos.

– In March 2015, it introduced an embedded video player, a new social plugin that would enable publishers to embed native Facebook videos in a video player.

MediaNama’a take: Its interesting to see the explosion and focus on video and live streaming on Facebook through all these measures. What remains to be seen is if Facebook will protect its users from copyright infringement (yes, most of the videos you watch on Facebook come from YouTube), incorrect metrics reporting, help in possibly generating revenue and support creators as a publishing platform. The line between the publisher and the platform is blurring.

Also read:

Bindass and Fremantle Media to launch original shows on Facebook next month
Facebook reportedly making exclusive content deals with Indian video creators

Image Credit: mkhmarketing under CC BY 2.0