A selected group of celebrities and high profile users with verified accounts has been able to use the live streaming service for several months on Facebook. Now the social network has decided to expand live streaming to the general public along with a new collage feature.
The Company said in a blog post,
“Now you can bring the photos and videos you share on Facebook to life with live video and collages, to help friends and family feel like they’re in the moment with you.”
Show your friends what you’re seeing in real time with Live Videos
Live streaming via mobile phones has become one of the big technology trends of the year, with Twitter-owned Periscope and Meerkat proving popular. Last year, Amazon also paid $1bn for the live streaming game site Twitch. Now Facebook is looking to up its live streaming game, as well. The live video feature is being tested to a small set of iPhone users in the United States from Thursday, with a broader availability to come later.
To share live video, tap on Update Status and then select the Live Video icon. You can write a quick description and choose the audience that you want to share with before going live. During your broadcast, you’ll see the number of live viewers, the names of friends who are tuning in, and a real-time stream of comments. When you end your broadcast, unlike the live-streaming pioneers, you will be able to save videos to your Timeline like any other video, which you can then delete or keep for your friends to watch later.
Live videos from your friends and public figures you follow appear right in your News Feed and you can comment, like or share it as with any other media post. While watching a live video, you can tap the Subscribe button to get notified the next time the broadcaster goes live.
Collage photos and videos to share the whole story
In addition to Live, Facebook also launched its new Collages feature. This media format is exactly what it sounds like – a scrolling, moving collage of photos and videos. Collages are now available for all iOS users, and will be available on Android in early next year.
When you tap on Photo, you’ll see recent moments from your camera roll organized into collages based on when and where you took them. You can edit your collage by adding, removing or re-arranging the photos and videos that you want to include. When you’re done, you can add a title to the collage before sharing. Collages will begin rolling out on iPhone today and will be available on Android early next year.
Testing a tool built for mobile sharing
Facebook also hinted to include a new mobile sharing feature in the future.
To complement the new live feature, Facebook is reconsidering the process of sharing from mobile devices and testing a new look with a few people on iPhone and Android where they can now tap What’s on your mind? at the top of News Feed to see a drop down menu of all the different options they can share.