Facebook opens up live broadcasting to select non-verified U.S. users

Facebook will be extending its service of live video broadcast from celebrities to common people without verified accounts.

We have came with a good news this time, you’ll soon be able to share a live video broadcast of yourself on Facebook.

The social network announced on Thursday that it’s starting to add a live video option to “a small percentage of people in the U.S. on iPhones” with plans to introduce the feature to more people over time.

Once enabled in the Facebook app, you’ll be able to select a new “Live Video” icon under the update status window. A broadcast can have a brief description and be shared publicly or just with your friends.

When you go live, you’ll see how many people are watching live and a real-time stream of comments.

Finished broadcasts are saved to your profile’s timeline and can be deleted or saved to watch later like any other video on Facebook.

Facebook hasn’t given a time frame for releasing this feature to the general public, but it’s not an easy thing to scale, according to a new engineering post. We do know that the company is starting with a “small percentage” of iPhone users within the U.S. If you’re one of the select few, you’ll notice a “Live Video” option in the “Update Status” dialog box within Facebook’s app — you won’t be using Facebook Mentions.

“Building live video for Facebook was a challenging exercise in engineering for scale,” wrote engineers Federico Larumbe and Abhishek Mathur. “With Live for Facebook Mentions, we had to solve for huge traffic spikes. Public figures on Facebook can have millions of followers all trying to watch a video at once; creating new tricks for load balancing became our goal.”

What’s interesting about this is that instead of starting with millions of users with relatively small audiences, Facebook instead chose a smaller group with big audiences. This obviously makes sense from a business perspective — by having thought leaders and influencers, like celebrities, using this tool, Facebook can generate more engagement and better adoption.

The feature is almost identical to other streaming apps like the Twitter-owned Periscope app and Meerkat, the latter of which can already share broadcasts directly to Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/facebook/videos/10154229645626729/

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