Facebook is betting on a new live-streaming technology in an effort to remain competitive and possibly lure in teens.
Teens and young adults are no longer in to perfectly-sculpted profile pages. They want niche apps for live-streaming, sharing video clips or selfies, and so on. Gone are the days of updating a status. Instead, it's about the real time and ephemeral. And the proof is in the pudding: Snapchat, Periscope, and Instagram are enjoying explosive growth.
While teens are still using Facebook a great deal, they no longer see it as the most prestigious or important social network. In 2012, 42 per cent of teens listed Facebook as the "most important," according to research firm and investment bank Piper Jaffray. By early 2015, only 14 per cent did so.
That's a whopping 28-per cent drop.
In the same study, Piper Jaffray noted 45 per cent of Snapchat's adult users as of 2015 were between 18 and 24. So, with these types of stats floating around, it's no surprise to learn Facebook is beginning to test the ability for people to share live-video broadcasts on Facebook.
Here's everything we know so far about the feature...
Facebook Live Video: What is it?
Live Video lets you share video with friends in real-time. The feature is a lot like Twitter's Periscope app in that you can instantly start broadcasting, see the names of friends who are tuning in, and engage with comments from them.
Facebook Live Video: How does it work?
Here's how to start and use Live:
- Open the Facebook app on iPhone
- To start a Live Video, tap on Update Status
- Select the Live Video icon
- Write a quick description
- Choose the audience that you want to share with before going live
- Tap the Go Live Video button
- During the broadcast, you'll see friends' comments (which you can 'like')
- Tap the Finish button when you want to end the broadcast
- The broadcast will be saved on your Timeline like any other video
- You can then delete the broadcast or keep it
- You can also discover more Live Videos right in your News Feed
- While watching a Live Video, tap the Subscribe button to get notified the next time that broadcaster goes live
Facebook Live Video: Where is it available?
Facebook initially launched its Live Video feature with a small percentage of people in the US on iPhones. It has since expanded to Android.
Anything else you should know?
Alongside Live Video, Facebook has introduced a new way to share photos. It's called Collages.
The feature lets you group photos and videos that were taken together into a "scrolling, moving collage" that you can share with friends and family. When you tap on the Photo button in the iPhone app, you will see recent moments from your camera roll organised into collages based on time and location.
You can edit them by adding, removing, or rearranging the photos and videos that you want to include, then assign a title to the collage, and share it. Collages will roll out on iPhone today and be available on Android next year.