Facebook Adds Live Video-Streaming, Just for Public Figures

The good news is that Facebook finally introduced a live-video-streaming feature similar to Periscope and Meerkat. The bad news is that it’s only available to celebrities and public figures.

The good news is that Facebook finally introduced a live video-streaming feature similar to Periscope and Meerkat. The bad news is that it’s only available to celebrities and public figures.

Product manager Vadim Lavrusik announced the launch of the Live feature for the social network’s Facebook Mentions application for celebrities and public figures, enabling them to share real-time streamed video with their fans.

Lavrusik said celebrities who will begin using Live for Facebook Mentions “in the coming days” include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Serena Williams, Luke Bryan, Ricardo Kaka, Ashley Tisdale, Lester Holt, Martha Stewart and Michael Bublé.

He added that Live videos will be posted to the Facebook Media page, and he told Mashable that videos from Johnson, Williams, Stewart and Bublé were set to live-stream Wednesday.

In a Facebook Media blog post, Lavrusik explained how celebrities and public figures can take advantage of Live for Facebook Mentions:

  • Grow and engage your fan base: Whether you have an established fan base or want to build up your audience, Live is a new way for you to connect authentically with your fans in the moment. When you start a Live video, it will appear in News Feed for your fans to comment, like and share with their friends. People who have recently interacted with your posts will also receive a notification when you start your broadcast.
  • Interact directly with fans and other public figures, in real time: During your broadcast, you’ll see the number of viewers and a real time stream of comments from people tuning in. You can respond to comments live during the broadcast, or choose to hide comments.
  • Keep your video for fans to view later: After your broadcast has ended, your video will be published to your page so that fans who missed it can watch at a later time. If you’d rather not keep the video, you can also remove it from your page at any time.

The last point raised by Lavrusik marks a key advantage that Live for Facebook Mentions has over Periscope and Meerkat: Videos shared via Meerkat are deleted immediately, while those shared via Periscope are only accessible for 24 hours, whereas Live videos are permanent (unless the celebrity/public figure or their page administrator decides otherwise).

Lavrusik told Josh Constine of TechCrunch in an interview:

Public figures already have fans on Facebook that they share to every single day. We actually got feedback from public figures wanting to do live video even before we launched Mentions.

Lavrusik also provided instructions on how celebrities and public figures who use Mentions can launch a Live stream:

  • Tap on Post and then tap on the Live Video button.
  • Add a description for your broadcast and tap the Go Live button when you’re ready.
  • During your broadcast, you’ll see how many viewers you have and can respond to comments live. You can also hide comments or switch the front and back cameras of your phone.
  • End your broadcast when you’re done by tapping on the Stop button.
  • Your video is automatically saved to your Facebook page for fans to view later. However, you can remove it at any time, just like any other post.

Readers: Would you like to see Facebook expand this feature to all users?


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.