In the current social-media dominated world, Facebook stands at the apex with over 1.55 billion active users on a monthly basis as of January 2016. Facebook has been a great public platform to express ourselves, and to share each of our “captured” special moments with our close ones. Taking a step further, Facebook recently made live video streaming available to everyone. Want to know more about this latest feature? Read on!
Live streaming isn’t a new trend, and has been around for quite some time now. However, it caught up with the public after apps like Meerkat and Periscope came to the forefront. And when apps dedicated to live streaming have been developed, how could Facebook remain far behind? So, last year, the Zuckerberg-owned Facebook team launched the Live Video feature which could only be used by public figures that use Mentions to live stream their videos. Towards the end of January 2016, Facebook had expanded this “Live Video” feature beyond public figures and verified pages-it made its access open to its users worldwide. Though only available for iOS at the moment, it is being hoped that the Android version would soon come out.
At this junction arises a question – why do we use Facebook for live streaming when we have Meerkat and Periscope at our disposal? Well, the answer is simple- the Live Video feature is built into Facebook itself. Meerkat and Periscope require you to download the respective apps, while Facebook omits that requirement. The only requirement, though quite obvious, is that the Facebook app has to be installed in the smartphone. In order to access the feature, you need to tap on the “Status” button located at the top of the homepage, from where you can select the live video feature. Just provide a title to your video and select the target audience and bingo! your live broadcast will start.
Following the footsteps of Periscope, Facebook’s live streaming feature allows you to read live incoming comments as well as keep a tab on the number of active live viewers. Moreover, it allows you to swap between both the front and the rear cameras. Once done with the broadcast, you can immediately upload the video to your timeline, as well as save it to the Camera Roll. And this is where Facebook scores over Periscope. While Periscope videos disappear after a day, Facebook live streaming videos can be saved and uploaded as and when wished.
Whenever a feature is introduced, there are always some cons related to it. Facebook’s live streaming feature is no exception. Though it may seem that Facebook’s live streaming feature is a flawless addition and overpowers Periscope in all aspects, in reality it still has certain drawbacks when compared to Periscope. Firstly, you won’t be able to get the same influx of comments during a rewatch, so the real-time value diminishes a little bit. Secondly, Periscope’s scope is much wider, enabling you to practically watch live streams from strangers across the globe. Facebook, on the other hand, keeps it limited to friends, family and followers, though this might not be a problem for the normal user, who might in fact want to keep the stream private.
Though with a limited audience, Facebook’s Live Video Feature does score quite well on the live streaming front. There lies a great appeal in the use of this feature- you can broadcast your special moments among your close ones and feel their presence with you. You can broadcast your grand proposal to your crush, or the first steps of your baby, or just about anything and you might not want the world to see it. Periscope’s private friend-only mode allows you to keep your streams among your friends only, however there are not many out there who would want to download an additional app just to do that.
It still remains a big question whether this Live Video feature will actually be used by users or not. However, considering Facebook’s genuine effort towards it, people should at least give it a try. You never know, it could be the next most trending thing in this digital world!