Once someone builds up an audience through regular videos, they often get the idea of having a live broadcast. This phenomenon was seen very clearly when YouTube started introducing a feature that allows you to schedule “air time” and host sessions that would film your “show” live.
People and organizations that have streamed live on the Internet have seen this as a wonderful marketing opportunity that offers one the ability to interact with fans or customers directly with on-the-spot responses to questions that show up in the chat box. On December 4, 2015, Facebook piloted a similar platform for people who have gone through the social network’s verification process.
How Does Live Streaming Work on Facebook?
Just like videos that automatically play as you scroll through them on your news feed, live-streamed videos will start playing as you see them. The only difference is that they will be portraying something that is happening right now rather than a video sequence that has been filmed in the past. This will allow you to hopefully have time to interact with the streamer.
Facebook’s intention with this is to give individuals and companies a new way to market themselves and appeal to an audience that may want to watch them “in the now.”
The video can be filmed from any device compatible with the “Facebook Mentions” app, which includes virtually any smartphone or tablet.
Can I Live Stream?
On December 4th when Facebook piloted its live streaming feature, it did so with the intention of only allowing verified pages to use it. Once this feature catches on, the criteria for using it will perhaps be broadened.
If you manage a page on Facebook, it’s not very hard to verify it. You can do this by following the steps that the social network lists in its own knowledge base here. If you are running a business’ page, the verification process would perhaps go more solidly if you uploaded the papers you used to incorporate.
Why Can’t Regular Users … Use It?
For the time being (at least at the time I wrote this), Facebook is only allowing certain pages to use its new feature. This perhaps is motivated by the limitations of infrastructure and bandwidth, but it stems more so from the fact that the feature is still in its “alpha” phase. Users who tested live streaming on Facebook have reported numerous bugs that the platform still needs to iron out. Since it’s still in the development phase, it’s very possible that live streaming will remain unavailable to the general public for quite some time. The feature may not even survive long enough to reach the masses.
Either way, having a live video feed seems to be a thing that could only be useful to companies, celebrities, and others who have an audience totalling at least several thousand to hundreds of thousands of people.
What do you think? Should Facebook’s live streaming be available to everyone? Let us know what you have to say about this feature in a comment!