Facebook introduces live video streaming… for VIPs only
James R | On 07, Aug 2015
Facebook is moving into the live video streaming game with a new service.
Live-streaming has become a major component of the VOD sector. YouTube already streamed events before the launch of Periscope and Meerkat this year, but the latter start-ups have turned the notion of broadcasting your own video live to the Internet into a hugely attractive concept. Live-streaming of video games, meanwhile, has become such an area of growth that Amazon bought out Twitch for almost a billion dollars.
Now, Facebook has entered the arena with live video. The catch? Unlike Periscope, it’s only for famous people.
Live video streams are now available to public figures on the social network, who can broadcast from Facebook Mentions, the site’s app that allows celebrities to talk with fans and each other. When a VIP user starts a live video, it will appear in the News Feed of normal users for them to comment, like and share with friends. People who have recently interacted with that celebrity’s posts will also receive a notification when a broadcast begins.
Also unlike Periscope, though, Facebook than stores old live videos for people to watch at a later date, adding value to live-streams, even after they’ve taken place.
“We think this will be an awesome experience for both public figures and also users,” Live product manager Vadim Lavrusik told Techcrunch, after being asked whether normal users will be able to stream live videos. “We want to get feedback from both public figures and viewers as we evolve the product.”
Why should celebrities use Facebook over another site? “Public figures already have fans on Facebook that they share to every single day,” added Lavrusik. Indeed, Facebook is increasingly using its reach – and autoplay function – to boost exposure for its videos, something that has prompted controversy from some YouTubers.
Celebrities already lined up to broadcast video live on Facebook include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Serena Williams, Luke Bryan, Ricardo Kaká, Ashley Tisdale, Lester Holt, Martha Stewart and Michael Bublé.