Facebook wants everyone to livestream their day

Posted Feb 26, 2016 by James Walker
Facebook has announced it is expanding Facebook Live to users of Android phones and more countries around the word. The service lets people broadcast live video of themselves to friends, competing with apps like Twitter's Periscope.
Facebook Live for Android
Facebook Live for Android
The announcement was made in a blog post today. The move shows Facebook is taking live video seriously, expanding one of the social network's newest features so it is available to the majority of its users.
The app works in a similar fashion to Periscope and Meerkat, TechCrunch reports. A new livestream can be created by tapping a button in the Facebook app's top navigation bar. The phone's camera is used to capture a video feed and broadcast it over the Internet. The stream is accessible to friends, followers or the general public, according to your privacy settings.
When you finish broadcasting, the livestream is automatically compiled into a video and uploaded to your timeline, making it accessible for future viewing by friends who weren't online when you were live. According to Facebook, viewing streams live is much more popular than the recorded full videos though.
Facebook says it has expanded Facebook Live to Android after noticing that more than 50 percent of people watching streams did so from an Android device. These users are mere observers though, unable to broadcast their own content to others. That will soon change as a Facebook app update in the next week will let U.S. Android users start broadcasting their life to others.
The company will expand the service to more countries in the near future. On iOS, it is currently available in over 30 nations worldwide as Facebook is trying to make it available to as many users as possible.
"Facebook Live enables you to share your experiences and perspectives in real time, with the people who matter to you - whether you're someone who wants to broadcast to friends and family, or a public figure who wants to connect with fans around the world," the company said today. "Live videos on Facebook are authentic and exciting, and we're seeing people tuning in and engaging directly with broadcasters in the moment. In fact, we've seen that on average people watch a live video more than three times longer when it is live compared to when it is not live."
Facebook Live is also available to public figures, businesses and Pages. Users are encouraged to engage with these feeds and can permanently follow specific broadcasters to get notified when they go live. This is done by tapping the "Subscribe" button displayed while watching a live video.
Facebook Live is still in early days and it remains to be seen whether it will be able to compete with its rivals around the world. The buzz of attention around Periscope has largely worn off now, suggesting personal livestreams may not be the long-term hit that Facebook wants to create.
With 1.5 billion users active on its network each month, Facebook does have the advantage of a large existing pool of people to immediately market Live Video to. However, it is reliant on friends actually having time and inclination to continually watch each other's actions for prolonged periods of time and the novelty could quickly wear off among groups of people.
Facebook Live will be available on Android in the U.S. in the coming days. iOS users can broadcast a livestream today by tapping the "What's on your mind?" status box in the News Feed and selecting the "Live Video" icon.