Facebook has now started rolling out its live streaming or broadcast now feature for all users in a phased manner.
This means that now any user could pick up their phone and broadcast live video via Facebook. Earlier, the company had released the feature to celebrities and a handful of celebrity users.
Although the feature is exciting, it is a little tricky to find. The option is sort of hidden under the ‘Status icon’. As soon as one selects the status icon, there should be a new icon beside the ‘Check In’ icon. If the user has not posted any updates recently, then a message will be seen floating above the new icon saying -- “New! Record and share live video”.
So if the user is ready to broadcast live, they selects the icon and then lets Facebook access the camera and mic on the device (only for the first time). After that, Facebook will ask you to hit the ‘Continue’ button and ask about the description of the broadcast and decide privacy settings of the broadcast.
After choosing the settings, the user is all ready to broadcast with live comments coming in and the video appearing on the user’s timeline.
The broadcast screen will also show up the video as the audience sees it, along with a tally of number of viewers, air time and live comments. Also, there is no limit to how long the stream can go on for but a good connection is necessary. Viewers can later see the entire broadcast from the timeline of the user.
Facebook suggests that if number of viewers are to increased then a post about the broadcast could be made earlier to let people put the broadcast on their calendar or schedule.
This feature seems like Facebook’s answer to rival Twitter’s Periscope service that also lets users share and host live videos based on their location.