What is Facebook Livestreaming?


facebook live

Facebook Live was launched in August of 2015 with a clever campaign that made the platform available only to celebrities. This of course gave the app a lot of attention as Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope were gaining traction. And by December of the same year, Facebook decided it was time to let more people in on the fun.

However, there is a big but! The Facebook Livestreaming app is only available to a limited group of iPhone owners.  Although Facebook still hasn’t announced the availability of a Live app for Android based devices, you can use the Facebook Mentions app to stream live video if you don’t happen to own an iPhone.

So What is Facebook Livestreaming versus Facebook Live?

They are one in the same, so don’t let the name confuse you. Put simply, Facebook Live is an application that allows you and your friends, followers and fans to connect and share real-time video by Facebook livestreaming it.

How do you Broadcast with Facebook Live?

Facebook has done a good job of making the process of streaming live video very easy, and all it takes is just a few steps to go live. When you are ready to live stream your video, tap the update status button on your iPhone and select the Live Video icon.

You will then write a description, which will be your title. This goes out to the news feed and in notifications to your audience.

At this time you can choose who can access the video. You can either make it available publicly so everyone can see it, or create a list of your friends for a more private affair.  Once the camera is rolling, you can capture events you want to share or point it at yourself to address your audience.

When you are broadcasting you can see the number of viewers, the name of verified people or pages that are tuning in, and any comments they make in real time.

At the end of the broadcast, Facebook will save the content on your time line just like any other video you upload to your page. At this time you can edit the video and add more information, such as a call to action by asking them to subscribe so they can get notified anytime you are live.

Best Practice Suggestions for Facebook Livestreaming

Facebook recommends announcing the times you are going to be Facebook livestreaming and broadcasting with an attention grabbing description. Only go live when you have a strong reception/connection on your device so the live stream doesn’t get interrupted. Facebook says WI-FI or 4G are best.

Since this is a social media platform, be social and respond to your viewers by name.

Business Applications for Facebook Livestreaming

Before you start broadcasting Facebook livestreaming videos, practice what you want to say on your PC or smartphone and record it. Watch the video and be critical on ways you can improve your delivery, comfort level and presence. Since you are the face of your business, put your best foot forward by showing your confidence on the products and services you are offering.

This is a tool that will let you broadcast live events, make company announcement, show product and how to demonstrations, have live Q&A sessions and break the latest news. As a marketing channel, it can deliver live interactions with multiple or one-on-one audiences for virtually any industry.

What if you Have an Android Device?

You can broadcast and stream live video using Facebook Mentions Android app, but your account has to be verified. This app was released in 2014 for iOS and wasn’t made available for Android until recently.

While the verification process was limited, as of now brands and businesses with verified pages can start using the application.

If you have been verified, all you have to do is go to the Page, tap publish and select live video on your Android device.  When you are done streaming the live event, it will be published on your Timeline so anyone can watch it at a later time. You can get the Facebook Mentions app right here.

In Conclusion

There is no denying video is becoming the preferred solution for delivering messages. And when the new feature becomes more widely used, the platform’s 1.5 plus billion users will be hard for any business to ignore. Certainly, some business users have  already begun experimenting with Facebook livestreaming.  So start looking at ways you can use the app for your business, it will be one more tool in your social media arsenal to engage with your customers.

And if you think video is a trend, this is what Facebook’s head of ad product Ted Zagat said about the subject:

“A year or two from now, we think Facebook will be mostly video,” during a panel at Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit in Los Angeles.

Image: Facebook

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Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

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10 Reactions

  1. It’s interesting to me that Facebook is going back to it’s “exclusivity” roots for the roll out. Limited supply can sometimes increase demand, but we’ll see. I know at least one of my friends that is really eager to try it out, but hasn’t gotten the feature yet. He’s super anxious.

  2. Michael Guta

    Hi Robert,
    Like the Facebook official said, the format “will be mostly video” in the next couple of years. I think this type of roll out lets them work out all the kinks before a wide release. But like you said, we’ll see.

    • Alex Yong

      Your instinct is correct. There was a thread on Facebook, originally posted by one of FB’s dev teams re: Facebook Live being “iOS first” and then “Android later”. This thread confirmed that yes, as you guessed, it’s about assessing how things are on iOS first, in order to pre-optimize the Android UX.

      The thought of a “mostly video” Facebook home feed makes sigh, though I’m unsure why. I guess I need time to even determine how I feel about that!

      • Michael Guta

        Hi Alex,
        Thanks for letting us know about your Android experience with Facebook Mentions. Like you said, one of the features people seem to like is the fact that your videos don’t get deleted, as in Periscope. I hope the five month wait was worth it.

        I also agree that,”It’s about assessing how things are on iOS first, in order to pre-optimize the Android UX.” After all, according to IDC, Android dominated the global market with an 82.8% share in 2015 Q2.

    • Alex Yong

      A friend on Facebook told me this weekend that she notices Periscope video quality isn’t as good as the quality devliered by Facebook Live. To that I say, I feel Facebook realizes that that would be the first thing its critics would attack. I haven’t made enough Facebook Live videos to notice any significant difference or to agree with her. Maybe a bit better, I don’t know. Here’s my first FB Live video https://www.facebook.com/AlexYongNYC/videos/215156525503434/

    • Alex Yong

      MG, did you see the Recode.net article about Zuckerberg being obsessed with making Facebook Live a success? that article came out 4 days after this one.

  3. Martin Lindeskog

    Michael: I mentioned Facebook Live (Meerkat, Periscope, Blab et al.) during my talk on podcasting trends at a conference on radio on demand on February 16.

    • Michael Guta

      Hi Martin,
      Have you used it, or do you know of anyone that has? If so, how was it?

      • Alex Yong

        After what felt like forever (In actuality it was 5 months of waiting, because I use Android) I finally have Facebook Mentions, in spite of having a Facebook verified profile. Again, owning an Android phone was the root of that delay.

        Anyway, did my first Facebook Live broadcast on Friday. I made it a short one.

        I love the fact that Facebook Live videos don’t vanish, unlike Periscope broadcasts which vanish after 24 hours (unless a Periscope user uses Katch or auto Katch, or if he/she goes through the hassle of uploading to YouTube)

  4. Videos will really take the Internet world around. And it is not just Youtube. So many video livestreaming tools now, it is insane. I am excited to see how business owners utilize these platforms.

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