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article imageFacebook launches livestreaming on desktop devices

By James Walker     Mar 24, 2017 in Technology
Facebook has turned on desktop livestreaming for all its users, letting you broadcast video to your friends from any device. It comes half a year after the company commenced small-scale trials of the feature, designed to attract new audiences to Live.
Facebook Live has so far been confined to mobile devices, making it popular with vloggers and people looking to spontaneously share moments of their lives. Expanding it to the desktop could allow Live to reach a whole new kind of user though, including groups likely to be more committed and more valuable to Facebook.
In its announcement post, the company made no secret that it's going after gamers with Live on desktop devices. Aiming to rival the likes of Amazon's Twitch and Microsoft's Beam, Facebook wants Live to be viewed as a serious streaming platform suitable for PC gamers. Alongside the new feature, Facebook is adding support for using Live with third-party recording software, letting PC gamers stream to the platform from their existing tools.
Live on desktop devices isn't just about gamers though. Facebook also thinks it'll increase the overall use of the feature. This will be particularly true among people who have content to share that doesn't lend itself well to mobile broadcasts.
Facebook Live is now available on desktop devices
Facebook Live is now available on desktop devices
Desktop devices allow static recording spaces to be set up when shooting stable footage in a single location. It'll be easier to show physical objects on camera, present Q&As and tutorials or just stream while sitting down.
"We’re excited to announce that, as of today, people around the world can broadcast live video to Facebook from their desktop or laptop computers," said Facebook. "While it’s been possible for people to go live to Facebook from mobile devices since last year, desktop or laptop computers provide a stable camera setup that can be beneficial to many types of Facebook Live broadcasts."
For general consumers not interested in third-party programs, live video now shows up as a post type in Facebook's "What's on your mind?" News Feed box. Clicking "Live Video" will start the livestream set up procedure. You select the people to stream to, add a description to the video and then start recording. You'll be able to monitor your audience's engagement and see how many people are watching, the likes and reactions you've received and incoming comments.
Facebook Live is now available on desktop devices
Facebook Live is now available on desktop devices
Facebook Live's expansion into desktop streaming has been interpreted as an indication the company intends to own the livestreaming space. After initially focusing on the relatively low-effort mobile market, it's now going after PCs where streaming is already well established amongst key audiences.
Facebook is presenting Live as a single cohesive streaming solution, letting you broadcast to anyone irrespective of where you are. In its vision, there's no need for dedicated gaming or vlogging platforms. Live can cater for any use case and lets you switch between audiences without changing app. It began rolling out to all Facebook users earlier this week.
More about Facebook, facebook live, livestreaming, Video, Desktop
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