By Melony Roy
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Facebook has revamped its streaming feature, giving its users more ways to discover, share, and interact with live video.
On iOS and Android devices, a play-button icon for live video will replace the Facebook Messenger icon on the app’s home screen. Tap on it, and you’ll be taken to a page that lets you see which of your friends is broadcasting live, view popular live broadcasts, or the option to go live yourself.
Facebook’s major update to its streaming service revamps its app to give live video more prominence. It also adds a host of new features like filters, doodles and searches.
To celebrate, Facebook rolled out a new page of streams by high-profile figures, including one by its own CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
“We think about this as bringing the power to broadcast from a smartphone to anyone in the world, it’s like having a TV camera in your pocket all the time and we’re excited to bring this superpower to everyone in our community.”
He says we’re entering a “new golden age of video online” and it won’t be the same kind of videos we watch on TV, YouTube, or the web.
“There are going to be new kinds of social and interactive experience and that’s what we’re starting to see with live is the ability to broadcast, hang out with your friends take questions from a community and I think that it produces these much more raw and personal moments and I think that’s what this community is all about.”
But the public demo didn’t run so smoothly.
To celebrate the news, Zuckerberg was scheduled to appear in a livestream on his personal page. When he appeared in the stream, he told viewers to hold on, then disappeared and the stream went dead.
An hour later when Zuckerberg ultimately went live, he explained they paused the stream in order to relocate to the “live video launch room.”
His explanation indicated the live stream interruption was not due to a technical difficulty.
The Facebook Live update underscores the network’s commitment to live video as it competes against Periscope, a similar service owned by its social media rival, Twitter.