Facebook’s live video streaming is limited to the rich and famous now, but this could soon change. On Thursday, the company informed users that it has begun testing Live Video for the masses to allow people share videos of events as they unfold in real time.
Extension of existing feature
Facebook’s new feature is an extension of the existing Live feature, which was launched in August for celebrities and public figures. It allowed people to choose who can watch their videos and told them who is tuning in.
Detailing the new feature, Facebook said in a blog post, “Live lets you show the people you care about what you’re seeing in real time — whether you’re visiting a new place, cooking your favorite recipe, or just want to share some thoughts.”
Presently, the social network is testing the Live video feature on a small percentage of iPhone users in the U.S. The feature will come to Android by early next year, according to Facebook representatives.
Despite many rivals, Facebook winning the war
In the last year or so, several live video apps have popped up, intensifying the competition. In February, Meerkat was launched, allowing people to broadcast videos live from their phones. The app gained huge popularity during the South by Southwest festival in Texas. Facebook’s arch rival Twitter too introduced a live video app of its own called Periscope around the same time.
Nevertheless, Facebook, which is the world’s largest social networking site with 1.5 billion users, is being increasingly used for watching videos. The company based in California has said that more than 8 billion videos are viewed on its platform on a daily basis with 75% of views taking place on mobile. This is good for the company as mobile devices are the most preferred platform of advertisers.
Facebook’s video ads are gaining huge popularity among U.S. advertisers with nine of ten advertising executives in the U.S. saying they have a plan of running a video ad on the platform this year, according to a recent survey. This puts Facebook’s video ads ahead of YouTube’s and Twitter’s.