Women in Music 2016

Facebook Rolling Out New Live Video Features

(Courtesy Facebook) 
Screen shot of Facebook Live's new video features for iOS.

Now you can watch a live video stream of your favorite artist and rate it with an emoticon

Facebook today announced it is implementing new tools for its users to discover, share, interact with and personalize live video broadcasts, according to a blog post by the company's director of product Fidji Simo. The news follows the successful launch last summer of Facebook Live, a video streaming initiative that initially featured only public figures using the site's Mentions app but more recently became available to anyone using iOS and Android apps.

Among the new features to be rolled out is the ability to have live video on Facebook group and event pages; interactive capabilities such as live reactions (including the new emotive newsfeed icons "love, haha, wow, sad or angry"); the ability to replay comments and live filters; and discovery tools that include the ability to invite friends; and the addition of live video destinations and maps.

SXSW & Facebook Launch New Live Video Portal for Behind-the-Scenes Festival Access: Exclusive

"We've been surprised and delighted with how people are using live video to connect and interact with each other all over the world," the rather chipper-sounding blogpost read. "People are letting their friends discover their hobbies. Parents are using it to share moments with their kids with their extended families. Athletes are giving people a window into their training. Chefs are bringing their fans into their kitchen. Journalists are hosting global conversations on topics they care about. Aspiring musicians can now put on a live concert for their friends. Many people all over the world are using Facebook Live in many different ways to talk to and interact with the people that matter most to them."

Facebook Live's new mapping feature.(Courtesy Facebook)

Part of Facebook's calculation in introducing the new live video features is the rise of video in social media over the last several years with the rapid growth of video platforms like Vine, Periscope (both acquired by Facebook competitor Twitter), Meerkat and Snapchat (which Facebook reportedly tried to purchase for $3 billion) as well as longtime video hub YouTube. Periscope was named Apple’s “App of the Year” in 2015 and Snapchat dominated social media growth rates tripling its video traffic to close to six billion according to a November Financial Times report. More recent reports have put both platforms' daily video use at 8 billion.

Facebook Live is introducing its new live video features today with a 24-hour live video event under the hash tag #24Live, which will air the best Facebook Live videos from around the world at live.fb.com/24Live. 

Facebook Messenger Integrates Spotify Sharing

In addition, Facebook is holding a morning event in Los Angeles at NeueHouse which will include a presentation on the new Facebook Live features followed by an opportunity to meet Live creators and the Facebook Live team including director of product Simo, vp of product management Will Cathcart and head of entertainment, media partnerships Sibyl Goldman.