Facebook is clearly trying to enter YouTube's space of dominance, having brought several exciting changes in the past two years. The latest is the addition of live video streaming, something the social network has been playing around with for quite some time.
The feature was in beta testing for a while, but now it's being rolled out for everyone in the United States. There's a huge catch, though: to take advantage of the live streaming feature, users must own an iPhone.
"Today, we're excited to expand the ability to share live video to everyone in the U.S. via iPhone, and we plan to start rolling this out to the rest of the world over the coming weeks," says Facebook in a statement.
For those who are interested, the feature is available via a redesigned Facebook status menu. Just tap on "Live Video" to enable the feature and watch as the iPhone's front camera kicks into full gear. To allow the whole world to see your live feed, click on the option that says "Go Live" and from there, work your magic.
The broadcaster will have a system that allows him or her to see the number of people who are watching, along with their names and comments. When the broadcast is over, users should be happy to know that it is automatically saved to their Timeline by default.
What is the quality like?
Well, we've seen several videos of folks live streaming on Facebook, and the quality looks great. Furthermore, it is similar to how things are done on Twitch in which a section is reserved for the broadcaster to see viewer comments. The broadcaster can even have the option to "like" a comment or block trolls. Furthermore, users won't need to rotate their smartphones since the live broadcast on Facebook will automatically show in horizantal format.
That's a decent addition from the social network because many folks do not realize that when it comes to shooting videos for the public, a vertical orientation is a no-no. Overall, It's pretty impressive, and we can't wait until it becomes available on all platforms.
This move puts Facebook in competition with YouTube, along with the likes of Periscope and Meerkat, two of the top live streaming services for mobile devices. It makes a lot of sense for Facebook to venture down this route since it is becoming quite popular, and it would provide the social network with a lot of tasty real-time data.
Twitter should be worried about this move since it will likely eat away at some of the folks who use Periscope. Instagram is a perfect example of Facebook stepping into Twitter's territory and walking away as the victor.
These days, teens are speaking more of Instagram than Vine, and that does not bode well for Twitter.