After initially rolling out Facebook Live to celebrities and high-profile users last year, the company announced in December that it would be rolling out the new feature worldwide starting with a select group of iOS users in the U.S.
The latest news about the Facebook Live feature, announced on Thursday, January 28, is that all iOS users in the U.S. will now be able to live broadcast their favorite moments with their friends and fans. Live videos will roll out to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.
At this stage, only iOS users get to enjoy Facebook Live, but according to the company the new feature will come to Android users soon.
Update May 24, 2016: Facebook Live has been updated to allow for Continuous Live Video for example nature feeds. It now also allows broadcasters to limit their videos to a certain location and age group with geo- and age-gating. When watching a replay of a Facebook Live video, users will now be able to see when the engagement was at its highest so they can jump to the best bits of the video.
For all the iOS users out there, here is how you get started live broadcasting your video. We have also included some tips and tricks to ensure you are broadcasting the best videos and are captivating as many fans as possible.
How to broadcast your live videos to your Facebook friends
- In your Facebook News Feed or Timeline, tap the icon to update your status.
- You will see a new icon of a person with a broadcast signal around their head. Tap the icon for Facebook Live.
- Write a description for your video (optional).
- Choose an audience for your video, Public, Friends etc.
- Tap Go Live and the screen is yours to start your live broadcast.
- When your live video is complete, simply tap Finish.
While you are busy with your live video, you will be able to see the total number of people who have tuned into your broadcast, the names of your friends who are watching, as well as a livestream of the comments that are coming in.
While you are broadcasting your video, you also have the ability to block a viewer if you are not happy with any of their comments. Tap the profile picture next to the relevant comment > tap Block.
The maximum time limit for your live video is 30 minutes and once you finish your video, it will be saved to your Timeline, like a normal video. This will allow any friends who missed your live video to go back and enjoy it at a later stage on your Timeline. You can then choose if you would like the video to remain on your Timeline or else you can simply delete it.
Facebook Live Tips and Tricks
Build anticipation for your live broadcast
By giving your friends and fans a heads-up of when you will be live broadcasting you can increase their anticipation for your latest video and are likely to a get a higher number of people tuning in.
Write a captivating description
While a description is optional, it is the perfect opportunity to truly capture your audience, and let them the details of what they can expect in your video.
A strong internet connection is key
To have a perfect video with no disruptions you want to have the best internet connection possible. Ensure you are on a 4G connection or on a reliable and strong Wi-Fi connection to ensure you broadcast is optimum. If the signal is too weak, you will see a greyed-out Go Live button and will not be able to start your broadcast.
If you lose signal during your video, do not panic
If your internet connection is not too reliable then you may lose the connection while you are live broadcasting. Try moving to a location with better signal or change your Wi-Fi connection. The Facebook app will automatically try to reconnect so you can carry on your broadcast.
If it is not possible to reconnect then interrupted broadcast still saves to your Facebook Page. You can then choose to leave it there or delete it and try to rebroadcast.
Encourage viewers to subscribe to your videos
While you are busy with your broadcast, point out to your viewers that they can tap the subscribe button, displayed on the live video. They will then receive notifications the next time you have a live video.
Interact with your viewers during the broadcast
As you are doing your broadcast, you will be able to see a livestream of comments from your friends and fans. Interact with them by liking their comments, giving them a shout-out on your video and answering any questions they may have posted.
Make your videos longer to reach more fans
The longer your live video is, the more fans and friends you are likely to attract. Your video should be at least 5 minutes long, but is limited to 30 minutes.
Post often and be creative
The more often you post live videos the more engaged your fans are likely to be. It is also important to play around with different types of broadcasts to see what your fans and friends enjoy.