Facebook will let Pages broadcast live videos from desktop web

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If your brand’s New Year’s resolution was to broadcast more live streams on Facebook, then Facebook wants to help you with that.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced a bunch of new features for Pages looking to go live. The headliner is probably the ability to broadcast live from your laptop. Yep, Facebook will enable Pages to air Live streams through the desktop web. The idea is to make it easier to produce more professional broadcasts (i.e., eliminating shaky smartphone camerawork), though an effect could be newfangled Facebook Live streams looking like old-school YouTube confessionals, which sounds hipster-y but doesn’t have to be horrible.

In addition to making it easier for Pages to produce live streams, Facebook is rolling out a few features to help Pages get people to tune in and interact with those live streams.

Pages will be able to affix comments to the bottom of a live broadcast, they way they can pin posts atop their profile pages. Pages can use the comment-pinning option to highlight comments that might color people’s perceptions of a broadcast and serve as a prompt for others to weigh in. Plus the pinned comments can partially crowd out the normal comment stream of people writing “LOL” and “Hi” and “Booooring.”

If a Page is broadcasting live, that stream will now appear atop the Page’s video library page, which Pages can link to by using the URL “http://www.facebook.com/PAGENAME/videos” (replacing “PAGENAME” with their Page’s name).

Finally, Facebook is adding some features of interest to brands hiring publishers or celebrities to produce branded live streams.

Pages can now let people who aren’t Page admins broadcast live from the Page’s account. Facebook used the example of a news publisher’s Page having individual reporters broadcast on the ground at a breaking news event, but this “Live Contributor” option could also be used by marketers that have hired a host of celebrities to attend a brand’s event and want to easily enable them to stream the event from their vantage but on the brand’s Page.

Pages can also now syndicate the recordings of their live streams to other Pages, which is something Facebook enabled for normal videos last year. That will make it easier for times when a brand hires a publisher to produce a branded live stream on the publisher’s Page but then wants to post the recorded version to the brand’s Page as well.

And because not every celebrity, or “influencer,” operates a Facebook Page, Facebook will now provide more live and non-live video measurements to non-Page Facebook accounts that have at least 5,000 followers, i.e., people with normal Facebook accounts that enable other people to follow them to see their public posts. These metrics will only be available for those accounts’ public videos. People with these accounts will be able to see the total number of minutes people spent watching their videos, as well as the total number of views and reactions, comments and shares those videos received. Additionally they’ll be able to break out the numbers into 7-, 30- and 60-day periods. These measurements mean that celebrities producing videos and live streams for brands will be able to give brands a better idea of how those videos performed.

About The Author

Tim Peterson, Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat’s ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar’s attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon’s ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube’s programming strategy, Facebook’s ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking’s rise; and documented digital video’s biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed’s branded video production process and Snapchat Discover’s ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands’ early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo’s and Google’s search designs and examine the NFL’s YouTube and Facebook video strategies.


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