Facebook is starting to roll out live video streaming to its iOS app, in a bid to challenge the Twitter-owned Periscope app in the live streaming arena.
The company is rolling the feature out slowly, only allowing a limited number of US users to broadcast live video streams from their iPhones as a Facebook post at first.
To broadcast their activities, users simply touch a Live Video icon on their iOS smartphones, write a short description of their live video and select who they wish to broadcast it to.
When the broadcast begins, users will be able to see in real-time who has tuned in and any comments being made by the viewers. Once the broadcast is finished it is also saved as a normal user video and added to Facebook as a post.
Facebook is also introducing the ability to create photo collages from pictures captured on the iPhone and then posting them as scrolling sets of images on Facebook.
Live Video could appeal to independent broadcasters looking to add a stronger social element to their videos, and companies seeking to add a new twist to their social marketing campaigns.
Facebook chief technical officer (CTO) Mike Schroepfer recently told V3 that the company's is making a big play around video, by adding new features to the social network platform, with live video streaming no doubt part of that push.
"Video is a big area of investment; [there's] huge growth in video viewing on Facebook. A lot of the gains we've made on Facebook is responding to the demand. People are trying to do something on Facebook and we're making it really hard for them," he said.
"When new people join the company I give them an on-boarding and say: ‘The best place for new ideas is to fix the latent demand that already exists.' So people want to watch more video, it's really hard to find other videos," he added, noting users want more video functionality than simply viewing videos in their Facebook feed.
"Maybe you want to watch a video after this one; there are lots of things we can do there [such as] auto play video [which] is a huge innovation.
"I think what you're seeing is an evolution of this into a larger number of dedicated experiences to solve issues with one-to-one and one-to-many messaging, photo sharing, small group communication, overall Facebook communication, and each of those are evolving into products over time."
While Facebook looks to build out its main social platform, it is also involved in numerous projects to expand beyond its position as a massive social network.
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