Once Facebook's Live Video service came to the iPhone, Android users didn't have to wait very long for their turn. Less than a month after Facebook launched Live Video streaming to iPhone users in the United States, it's doing the same for Android users.
On its news page, Facebook said it would start its Android rollout over the next week in the U.S. with Android support coming to other countries later. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Android launch Feb. 26th, during a town hall Q&A session in Berlin.
Easy To Use
Facebook Live (pictured above) is a way for users to share their experiences and perspectives in real time, whether the users want to broadcast to friends or colleagues, or public figures who want to connect with fans and followers, according to the company. Once the live video is broadcast, friends and followers can respond with comments. The stream is then saved to the broadcaster's Timeline so it can be watched again later.
Facebook did not address possible business applications for the app, but presumably any company with its own Facebook page could use Live Video to reach users who follow and like their companies.
"Live videos on Facebook are authentic and exciting, and we're seeing people tuning in and engaging directly with broadcasters in the moment," said Facebook product manager Vadim Lavrusik and engineering manager Dave Capra in a blog post.
To share live video, users need to tap the button reading "What's on your mind?" at the top of their News Feeds and select the Live Video icon. From there they can write quick descriptions and select who has access to the videos before sending them out live.
While the videos are being broadcast, the users will see the number of live viewers, the names of people who are tuning in, and have the ability to respond to real-time comments. Conversely, users can use the feature to discover live videos from their friends and the public figures they follow via their News Feed. While watching a live video, users can tap the Subscribe button to get notifications the next time the broadcaster releases more live videos.
Live Is Used More Frequently
Facebook said that the average user of its app spends three times as many minutes watching live video than watching video that is not live. Facebook also pointed out that more than half of the people watching live videos are using Android devices to do so. In addition to the Live Video rollout to Android users in the U.S., Facebook is expanding live video streaming to iOS users in 30 other countries.
The new initiative represents Facebook’s effort to take on Twitter in the live-video arena. Twitter-owned Periscope is currently one of the most popular live-streaming video apps. Also, the independent startup Meerkat works with Facebook’s API but is no longer functional on Twitter’s platform.
Image Credit: Facebook.