Facebook has always been an avid supporter of mobile live-streaming, giving celebrities the option to share live videos and podcasts to their fans way before Periscope and Meerkat came anywhere in the picture. And as has been the case with Facebook lately, there’s a now a new app for that.
Facebook is launching a brand new app that will let celebrities with a verified Page, reach out to their fans in whole new ways that include starting a Live broadcast that’s posted to the News Feed. They also have the option of making the recording permanently available so that fans can watch and share it in the future.
While this feature is only available for celebrities at the moment, it may come to the other, less exalted members of the social networking giant as well. Speaking on the topic, Vadim Lavrusik, Live product manager said
We think this would be an awesome experience for both public figures and also users. We want to get feedback from both public figures and viewers as we evolve the product.
Indicating that though the product may be made public at some point of time in the future, that time is not now.
The benefits to someone using the app are of course, many fold. For one, the app would give celebrities the option of staying connected to their fans while also ensuring that they have access to a much higher audience than what they would get on any other services.
Another factor that could work to its advantage is the fact that unlike MeerKat or Periscope, the videos don’t simply disappear after a fixed length of time. While the publishers/celebs would have the option of deleting the videos they don’t want circling the web, other broadcasts would simply stay online like a traditional video.
Facebook is also working hard to ensure that the ‘real-time’ here, is actually real time. Not only will the live broadcasts reach users on time, but Facebook is also employing alerts to ensure that people interested in a particular celebrity, receive a notification whenever he/she broadcast something.
Facebook says, that this ‘Live’ feature has been developed as a result of months of brainstorming and star-feedback. It took some time to arrive at the decision, but everyone agreed in the end that live video was really the best way to interact with fans so far as responding to the masses of posts and mentions on celeb walls was concerned.
Once a celebrity decides to broadcast, a video with a live tag in its belt is circulated among his/her fans, who can watch whatever is being posted and comment on it. The comments are then read by the broadcaster who can then choose to respond or not.
Facebook has done all it can, to ensure that the experience is a comfortable one for all parties involved. While the stars have the option of turning off comments or preventing talk about a certain topic while on their video, users have the option of not being disturbed by notifications from some persona, they liked years ago.
Some of the first celebrities to start using this service are, The Rock and Serena Williams among a host of others as well. The feature will eventually roll out to everyone present on Facebook Mentions.
In other, related news, business pages on Facebook are getting broader options to interact with their customers. Some of the options include enhanced chatting features, that will let businesses send messages to consumers, right from their page itself. This is a pretty major improvement over the prevailing situation, where the company could only reply in the channel, the customer started the conversation in.
The feature will save both the user and the company, a lot of trouble and may just turn into a new kind of customer support. That is exactly what Facebook seems to be rooting for, as the company launched ‘Business on Messenger’ at the F8.
The ‘Business on Messenger’ initiative supports the use of Facebook chats for customer support. The service seeks to allow e-commerce customers to request support through Facebook Messenger in lieu of a call or a message. What’s more, Facebook is also working towards the introduction of AI into the loop.
The AI could easily take care of most of the standard consumer queries with minimum human intervention required. Humans would actually need to step in, only when something beyond the AI came up.
Let’s see how businesses respond to this rather impressive idea of providing support through Facebook.