If there weren’t enough proofs on how Facebook is hell bent on taking away the Youtube dominated, massively polarised video domain under its own territory, the social networking giant — via unveiling of a host of new features to Facebook live today — has made sure, that Youtube (and other peeps in video content) start looking towards innovative ways to stay afloat.
When you’ve got the backing of over a billion users at your end (and add to that, the backing of a billion and a half users from Whatsapp and other standalone service), you can literally just storm into any online content domain, and take the crown away from the current dominator — without much hassles. and with this new cluster of features brought in to its live feature today, Facebook sure as hell is on that very path.
In a release shared today, Facebook Project Managing Director Fidji Simo talks about this new roll-out, and says,
Today we’re excited to announce 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.
The one however, which will be the biggest attack in video content’s short internet history, over Youtube’s No.1 crown, will be introduction of a new video tab. Lets take a look.
Ability To Invite Friends, Live Video Destination and Live Map
So this is where the entire Facebook vs Youtube battle takes a big twist.
To make sure people don’t just limit these live broadcasts to themselves, Facebook is adding the option to send an invitation to a friend to watch with you right from the live video. Simply tap on the invite icon and select the friend you want to invite and they will receive a push notification with your invitation. This makes sure, that more users throng on to Facebook to witness live broadcasts, instead of a limited set of feature-aware users.
In fact, making that battle even more intense is the introduction of a dedicated place on Facebook’s mobile app where you can discover live video that the world is talking about, live video from the friends and creators that matter most to you, and live video on topics you’re interested in. From that place, you can also search live and non-live videos, and choose to go live yourself. Simply tap on the new video icon in the app to navigate to this new space.
The redesigned tab lets users swipe horizontally through a stack of categories including “Live Around The World”, “Your Friends And Pages”, and “Recorded Live”. There’s also a Guide sorted by topics like “U.S. News”, “Home & Garden”, or “TV & Movies”.
Finally, if you want a visual way to explore public live broadcasts that are currently happening around the world, today we’re releasing a Facebook Live Map on desktop. People in more than 60 countries can now share live video. The Facebook Live Map gives you a window into what’s happening in the world right now.
While the video destination proves how Facebook’s focus towards video content continues to grow, the introduction of Live maps and other similar features makes sure, that Facebook takes on the other half of video content equally well-prepared — live streaming. And that specifically includes (you, you guessed that!), its rival, Twitter-owned Periscope. This could also sound alarm bells for a soon-to-release live streaming feature within Youtube — Youtube Connect.
Live for Groups and Events
This is one feature which could literally ease up the strain event managers these days go through, while thinking of a live-streaming option.
Fcebook, via live, is today rolling out the ability to go live in Facebook Groups and Facebook Events. Live in Groups allows you to broadcast to just the people in the Facebook Group – so you can go live in your family group, or share a workout plan in a fitness group.
Live in Events — which could be the real game-changer here — means you can go live from a birthday party to allow those that can’t make it to join the fun, and a performer can go live backstage to the people who’ve RSVP-ed to the event to give them a sneak peak. You can even use Events to schedule a live Q&A session.
The Live In Events also syncs well with Facebook’s special focus on Events, and its plans of rolling the Events section out, as a separate app altogether.
Live Reactions, Replay Comments, Live Filters
Owing to the huge response that pored out when Facebook released those reaction emoticons instead of just likes for a post, the social networking giant is bringing that same ability to ‘Facebook Live’ as well.
Using the same reactions the company launched in News Feed, viewers can select Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry, and the reactions animate right on top of the video. Live Reactions appear in real time and disappear quickly so broadcasters and other viewers can get a sense of how people are feeling at different points during the live video.
To make it an even more real-time, life-like experience, Facebook will make appear, your friend’s profile pic and a little starburst before their reaction appears, right when your friend reacts to your video or to a video you are both watching together.
Commenting on this, Simi says,
We’ve seen that people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos. We want people watching the broadcast after the fact to feel “in” on the action. To achieve this, we will replay comments as they happened during the live broadcast when people watch it later.
Along with addition of reactions, Facebook will give an Instagram-ish touch to live broadcasts, with the introduction of five Live Filters. Coming soon, it will also add the ability to draw or doodle on your video while live.
Apart from all of this, Facebook is also introducing new metrics for Pages sharing live video.
These new set of Facebook Live features will be rolling out on iOS and Android over the coming weeks.