Following a beta trial for a limited number of users, Facebook has gone public with its live streaming feature.
"In December, we started testing the ability for people to share live video on Facebook," explained Facebook's Product Manager Vadim Lavrusik in an official press release. "Today we're excited to expand the ability to share live video to everyone in the U.S." Now, when users go to update their status, a new "Live Video" icon will be available. Tapping this icon prompts Facebook to ask permission to use your phone's camera and microphone, and then the live streaming begins. The broadcaster can view their cast on a Facebook feed live, and comments are visible next to the video.
Unlike Twitter's similar Periscope service, there won't be notifications pushed to alert a Facebook user's friends of the live video, so users are encouraged to post about their upcoming broadcast ahead of time. The videos will pop up in the News Feed just like regular posts as users are scrolling through. And just like other posts, Live Video can be broadcast to friends, the general public, or even just yourself in a private broadcast. The live video can be captured using either the front or the rear-facing camera on a phone, in either portrait or landscape orientation. Video can be saved to the camera roll once broadcasting is complete. The feature is currently available for iOS, but Facebook states that other systems are in the works. "We plan to start rolling this out to the rest of the world over the coming weeks," Lavrusik added.
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