In the past 6 months, Facebook has been rolling out Live Video to its users in phases. It was launched to Public Figures that seemed like a beta test and they needed to download Facebook Mentions app for iOS so as to use it. This was later extended to all verified pages on Facebook. Sooner rather than later, Facebook launched Mentions Android app so that Page owners with Android apps will be able to broadcast live to their audiences.
This sort of rolling out is not unusual for Facebook and we have seen them do this with Instant Articles. Now as expected, Facebook announced that they have rolled out Live Video to all users in the US on iPhone.
People who ran verified Pages had to use Facebook Mentions to use Live Video. This is however not the case with the public and it is much easier now. To start a video broadcast, you only need to go to the update status text box and select the Live Video icon. Just like in Facebook Mentions, you can write a description of the broadcast, choose your intended audience and later on you will be able to see the number of people viewing the broadcasts and the stream of comments. If the broadcast ends, it will be saved on your timeline so that people who missed it will be able to catch up.
If you have an Android phone, don’t worry. Facebook has promised to roll out Live Video to Android users too, although they didn’t specify a time-frame.
This move should be a concern for the Twitter owned Periscope which does the same thing but has a relatively smaller audience compared to Facebook. The latter will leverage on its massive user base so as to make Live Video more popular than Periscope.
Will this signal the death of Periscope? We will have to see how people will adopt this in the US and it will be a good barometer to see if it will affect the use of Periscope in the country. As for now, Periscope has leveraged on the integration on Twitter timelines so as to survive and it won’t be long to see if that strategy will work for the company.