In early December, Facebook began letting a small percentage of people in the U.S. stream live video from their iPhones. Later that month, they expanded this to all verified pages. In January, Facebook announced that the feature was rolling out to all U.S. iPhone users. Then, earlier this month, they opened up the functionality to the Pages Manager app for iPhone in the U.S.
Facebook announced on Friday that next week, it will begin rolling out the ability for people on Android to share live video. This starts in the U.S. with more countries to follow.
Facebook says in a blog post, "Facebook Live enables you to share your experiences and perspectives in real time, with the people who matter to you – whether you’re someone who wants to broadcast to friends and family, or a public figure who wants to connect with fans around the world. Live videos on Facebook are authentic and exciting, and we’re seeing people tuning in and engaging directly with broadcasters in the moment. In fact, we’ve seen that on average people watch a live video more than three times longer when it is live compared to when it is not live."
"To share live video, simply tap 'What’s on your mind?' at the top of News Feed and select the Live Video icon," the company explains. "You can write a quick description and select the audience before going live. During your broadcast, you’ll see the number of live viewers, the names of friends who are tuning in, and respond to a real-time stream of comments. When you end your broadcast, it will be saved on your Timeline like any other video, which you can then delete or keep for your friends to watch later."
It will be interesting to see how Facebook's offering affects use of Twitter's Periscope as it become available to more people. Stay tuned as there will no doubt be plenty of data and analysis on that in the months ahead.
Image via Facebook