Recently facebook announced several new updates and features to Facebook Live, and soon enough, our News Feeds, Groups, and Events on Facebook will be full of live streamed video content.
Live Video in Facebook Groups and Events
According to Facebook, “the ability to both broadcast and watch live video within Groups and Events enables people to connect more deeply with their closest friends, family and the communities of people who share their interests.”
For example, a musician’s Facebook Event can go live with a sneak peak of their set, or your friends can livestream their new apartment on the days leading up to the house-warming party within a private Facebook Group you’re a part of.
From sneak peaks to intimate live video sessions, this flexibility encourages more individuals to go live when they might have not otherwise (especially to all friends and followers).
Reactions, Comments, Invitations, and Filters
Live reactions are new to Facebook Live, which allow viewers to express their feelings or reactions in real-time. These “Reactions” are identical to the ones available on posts in the News Feed (Like, Love, Wow, Haha, Sad and Angry), and they appear and disappear in a similar way to the hearts on Periscope.
According to Facebook, people comment 10 times more on Live Videos than on regular ones, and to make livestreaming more of a shared activity, you can even invite friends to join a Live Video stream in just a few taps. If a friend joins, his or her profile picture will appear to let you know they accepted your invitation to join, or if they randomly entered the same video stream.
The filters are not officially here yet, but once they’re rolled out, Live Filters will allow broadcasters to edit the video in real-time, add animations, and draw on the screen (all of these are very similar to Snapchat).
Even though Facebook promotes the authentic and “raw” nature of Live Video, they also want creative individuals to express themselves in fun and unique ways. We’ll have to wait and see if Facebook’s acquisition of MSQRD plays a factor in Live Video filters.
A new icon in Facebook’s mobile app dedicated to Live Video
To help you discover and identify live video broadcasts you may be interested in, Facebook’s mobile app has been updated to include a new icon where you can browse popular and relevant streams around the globe (currently in 60 countries only).
These will be live streams relating to your interests, friends, and location. The new “Facebook Live Map” can even point you towards different global broadcasts if you’re curious to see what’s happening in a specific location anywhere in the world. This has implications of live, user-generated journalism and reporting.
You might even be able to see how long the line is at the movies, or how much traffic there is during your commute, something that other apps are working on as well.
New Metrics for Live Video
Along with these new features come specialized metrics for analyzing the performance of your live broadcasts. Facebook launched two metrics:
Live Broadcast Audience: The total number of unique people who watched the video while it was live.
Viewers During Live Broadcast: A visual representation of the number of viewers during each moment of the live broadcast.