Facebook is the most recent social network to join the livestreaming movement. Live video streaming is incredibly hot right now–it started last year with Meerkat and Periscope, then extended to multiple live-streams with Blab. Now Facebook has gotten in on the game.
You can now broadcast live streaming video right from your personal profile or your Facebook page (I don’t have the built-in ability to do it on my page yet, but you can always install LiveStream, and do it that way).
How to create livestreaming video in Facebook Live
- Open up your Facebook app on your smartphone
- Touch “status” to create a new status update
- Touch the button that looks like a person with waves coming off of them. It’s the last one on the right.
- Give your video a name, then hit the blue “go live” button.
- You are now live-streaming video! You can use both the front-facing or back facing cameras, or toggle between them.
- While you are live streaming, you’ll see a box below your livesteam that will tell you who’s watching you, and it will also post their comments to you.
- To finish your video, just hit the “finish” button.
- Facebook will automatically post the video to your timeline so that people who couldn’t join while you were broadcasting live can watch it. You can also save the raw video to your camera roll. You could then edit the footage and upload it to YouTube, if you desire, or cut up smaller segments of it to upload to Instagram.
So, let’s say you’ve been doing live video–maybe you’ve been using Periscope, for example, like I have. What advantages would you have using Facebook instead?
- Facebook has announced that live videos will get priority in the algorithm. As you know, you don’t see every single status update your friends make on FB. FB has an algorithm that determines which updates your friends see and which ones they don’t. However, because FB is competing heavily with YouTube right now, they are giving heavy weight to any native (meaning uploaded) videos on FB, and Live videos definitely fit into that category.
- The video lasts forever. With Periscope, your videos only have a lifespan of 24 hours. With Facebook, they live forever.
- You can take advantage of a built-in audience. With Periscope, you’re basically starting from scratch. The advantage of Periscope is that it hooks into your Twitter account, so it does make it easier to build an audience. I have been on Periscope for a year, and I have 600+ followers. I’ve been on Facebook for nearly 10 years, and I have 1700+ friends plus 300+ followers. I don’t have to work for my audience. They’re already built in. If you have a Facebook page with 10,000 fans already, you have an audience that is ready to watch your content.
- Views on FB are going to be higher. I have done 14 Periscope broadcasts in the last year, and the biggest audience I got on any of them was nearly 100. The video I made yesterday on Facebook has already had nearly 600 views. You get exposure to a bigger audience.
What are the drawbacks of Facebook Live?
- I don’t like the square format. When you shoot live video on FB, you will be in a square, much like Instagram used to be. This is because you need the extra space at the bottom for comments. I don’t like it though–I like having the entire camera space. If you watch my video, you’ll see many times when my head gets cut off.
- The comments feature doesn’t work very well. I’m sure FB will fix this eventually, but while I was live-broadcasting, I only saw one comment. After I finished the video, I saw a lot more. I hope FB fixes this soon, because this is a major fail. If I have people asking me questions or commenting, I need to know!
- No embed code. Hopefully they will also made embed codes available. I wanted to embed the video in the blog post, and I couldn’t.
Have you tried making a Facebook Live video? I’d love to hear what you thought. Please leave your comments below.
- To see more Facebook Live videos, visit the Facebook Live website.
- Read these tips from Facebook about how to do live video.
- Listen to this excellent podcast on the Social Media Examiner.