Facebook Opens Live Video Sharing To Everyone

Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
Update January 28, 2016: Live Video is now available to all U.S. iPhone users.

Even given the success of upstarts like Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook is still the world's biggest, most-used social network. In order to maintain that position, the company is adding a couple of new features to stay on top of the times.

First, Facebook is rolling out live video sharing (something currently only available to celebrities) to everyone, beginning with a selection iOS app users. Like Periscope or Meerkat, you can share what's in front of you in real time with your friends, along with a brief text description of what exactly they're seeing.

To share live video, tap Update Status, then Live Video. You'll see the number of live viewers, their names, and a stream of real-time comments. Once your live video is done, it'll be on your Timeline, where you can either save it for posterity or delete it to save yourself future embarrassment — depending on what you were livestreaming in the first place.

Facebook is also making some changes to photo sharing. Instead of just being able to share a single photo or an album of photos of an event, you can now make photo collages on Facebook. It's not quite the same as Instagram's Layout app, which is more of a photo editor for arranging multiple photos. Rather, Facebook's collage feature is dynamic, scrolling and rearranging photos as you check out the collage. The Facebook app will automatically organize recent moments from your camera roll into a collage-ready collection when you tap Photo in the app. But you can then add, remove, or rearrange the order of photos yourself, and include a title before sharing.

Collages are available for iOS users today, and will be extended to Android users early next year. Livestreaming is rolling out with a small number of iOS Facebook app users, and broadening out from there. Between this and its support of GIFs, Facebook is definitely trying to keep up with trends in modern media sharing and communication. Now, to decide what our first livestream will be...

This article originally published on December 3, 2015.
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