Facebook Live is getting a number of updates this week to enhance its livestreaming offerings. Among the changes, it now allows users to stream up to four hours of video.
The limit was previously set at two hours, but People and Page administrators can now broadcast for twice as long with Facebook Live. The update sets the limit at four hours per session and allows for both full-screen and video-only mode streams.
As VentureBeat reports, Facebook said that both publishers and viewers have requested longer live streams and the change will benefit both the viewers and the creators. The ability to access the feature from the Facebook app, as well as the Live API, should further improve the experience.
The changes also aim to enhance the way viewers consume video on Facebook Live. Broadcasting live in full screen, however, will depend on the platform. On iOS, it will be possible to go live in both portrait and landscape mode full screen, but on Android only the portrait mode supports full screen. Nevertheless, Facebook says it plans to add full screen support in landscape mode "later this summer."
Facebook is also adding an optional control, which will allow viewers to hide reactions and comments for a while during live streams. The reason behind this option is that some viewers may want to watch the video without distractions, and so they might prefer to temporarily hide others' interactions. Viewers can enable this option by swiping right, or bring back the interactions by swiping left.
According to VentureBeat, these options and more are set to roll out more widely "in the coming weeks." As things are heating up in the live-streaming game, constant updates and improvements are paramount to stay competitive.
Facebook Live has some serious rivals such as YouTube, Periscope and others, and streaming live video seems to be gaining ground and becoming increasingly popular among users.
Facebook has been constantly adding upgrades to its Live platform, including last month's addition of Snapchat-like filters, waiting rooms and ads, made possible through the acquisition of Masquerade. Other changes included enhanced discovery by adding a trending topics feature for broadcasts, the option to target live streams within events and groups, the option to schedule and broadcast directly within the MSQRD app, and more.
It remains to be seen what other enticing features Facebook Live will gain in the future, but it seems to be headed in the right direction. Have you been using Facebook Live? If so, are you excited about the new four-hour broadcast limit, or do you find it excessive? Let us know in the comments section below.