Facebook Live, the social network’s live video streaming feature that lives inside the mobile Facebook app, was first rolled out to Android devices back in February 2016. Today Facebook has announced a new update that brings a number of new features to the Facebook Live section of the app.
With today’s update, Facebook Live will not only be available to individual accounts, but also folks that are a part of Groups or Events. That’s right, the Facebook mobile app will now allow you to broadcast to only the people in your Facebook Group or Event. This will come in handy if there are some people who can’t make it to your birthday party but don’t want to miss out on the fun, or if you’d just like to broadcast to your family or close friends. You can even use Events to schedule live Q&A sessions.
Another new feature rolling out in this update is Live Reactions. This will make it easy for your viewers to express their feelings during a live broadcast in real time. Using the same reactions Facebook rolled out in its News Feed a few months ago, your viewers will now be able to send Love, Wow, Sad, Haha or Angry emoticons during the live stream to the top of the video. Facebook explains:
Live Reactions appear in real time and disappear quickly so broadcasters and other viewers can get a sense of how people are feeling at different points during the live video – it’s like hearing the crowd applaud and cheer. When your friend reacts to your video or to a video you are both watching together you’ll see their profile pic and a little starburst before their reaction appears.
Similar to the feature that Periscope already offers, Facebook Live will now replay comments as they happened when you’re watching a video at a later time. This is one of my favorite things that Periscope offers, so I’m happy to see Facebook adopt it as well. And that’s not all — Facebook is also adding Live Filters to the video streaming feature, and users will also soon have the ability to draw or doodle on your video when you’re live.
The company says this big update will be rolling out to Android and iOS devices over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for the update in the Play Store.