Everything Marketers Need to Know About the Updates to Live Video on Facebook



Facebook announced new features for Facebook Live to give you more ways to discover, share, and interact with live video, and more ways to personalize your live broadcasts.


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Facebook doesn’t want to just be at the forefront of live video, they want to pioneer the space.

Facebook announced several new updates and features to Facebook Live, and soon enough, our News Feeds, Groups, and Events on Facebook will be full of livestreamed video content.

Live Video in Facebook Groups and Events

Facebook says, “the ability to both broadcast and watch live video within Groups and Events enables people to connect more deeply with their closest friends, family and the communities of people who share their interests.”

For example, a musician’s Facebook Event can go live with a sneak peak of their set, or your friends can livestream their new apartment on the days leading up to the house-warming party within a private Facebook Group you’re a part of.

From sneak peaks to intimate live video sessions, this flexibility encourages more individuals to go live when they might have not otherwise (especially to all friends and followers).

Reactions, Comments, Invitations, and Filters

Live reactions are new to Facebook Live, which allow viewers to express their feelings or reactions in real-time. These “Reactions” are identical to the ones available on posts in the News Feed (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry), and they appear and disappear in a similar way to the hearts on Periscope.

According to Facebook, people comment 10 times more on Live Videos than on regular ones, and to make livestreaming more of a shared activity, you can even invite friends to join a Live Video stream in just a few taps. If a friend joins, his or her profile picture will appear to let you know they accepted your invitation to join, or if they randomly entered the same video stream.

The filters are not officially here yet, but once they’re rolled out, Live Filters will allow broadcasters to edit the video in real-time, add animations, and draw on the screen (all of these are very similar to Snapchat).

Even though Facebook promotes the authentic and “raw” nature of Live Video, they also want creative individuals to express themselves in fun and unique ways. We’ll have to wait and see if Facebook’s acquisition of MSQRD plays a factor in Live Video filters.

A new icon in Facebook’s mobile app dedicated to Live Video


To help you discover and identify live video broadcasts you may be interested in, Facebook’s mobile app has been updated to include a new icon where you can browse popular and relevant streams around the globe (currently in 60 countries only).

These will be live streams relating to your interests, friends, and location. The new “Facebook Live Map” can even point you towards different global broadcasts if you’re curious to see what’s happening in a specific location anywhere in the world. This has implications of live, user-generated journalism and reporting.

You might even be able to see how long the line is at the movies, or how much traffic there is during your commute, something that other apps are working on as well.

New Metrics for Live Video

Along with these new features come specialized metrics for analyzing the performance of your live broadcasts. Facebook launched two metrics:

  1. Live Broadcast Audience: The total number of unique people who watched the video while it was live.
  2. Viewers During Live Broadcast: A visual representation of the number of viewers during each moment of the live broadcast.

Facebook’s Tips and Best Practices

Now that you have some background on the new features and metrics, Facebook has a bunch of tips and best practices if you or your brand wants to start broadcasting.

1. Tell fans when you’re broadcasting ahead of time. This not only helps add suspense, but can help potential viewers plan to make sure they won’t miss out.

2. Before going live, check your Internet connection. If you are not in an area where a WiFi connection is available, try a 4G connection. If your connection is poor, the ‘Go Live’ button will appeared grayed out.

3. Write a clear and attention-grabbing description. Not only will your caption attract people to join, but it also provides context for what you’re doing, where you are, or which topics you’ll discuss.

4. Ask viewers to subscribe. Remind those tuned in to help increase your number of subscribes by clicking the Follow button so they will know when you broadcast next.

5. Engage with your viewers. Try to address each of your viewers’ questions or comments individually to make them feel part of a conversation.

6. The longer the broadcast, the better. This is simply because it gives more of a chance for current users to share your content. The minimum recommendation by Facebook is a 10 minute broadcast, though you can be live up to 90 minutes per stream.

7. Let your viewers know when you’re done. Try ending the video with a simple line, wave goodbye, or mention the next time you plan to go live again in the future. You might even want to set a consistent schedule of livestreaming the same time and day each week.

8. Try to stream as frequently as possible. Keep your viewers engaged by diversifying your streams, and consider different types of videos you can do or topics to discuss.


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