After launching live video streaming to celebrities earlier this year, Facebook is now bringing the feature to us regular folk.
Facebook says that it’s now testing Live Video support for “a small percentage” of US-based iPhone users. As you’d expect, the feature lets you stream real-time video to your Facebook friends, sort of like Periscope but on Facebook. To use the feature, you need to tap on Update Status and then hit the Live Video icon. Before you begin streaming, you can enter a description and select which group of friends you want to see your stream.
Once a stream is going, you’ll be able to see the number of viewers and their names as well as a stream of comments. And when you wrap your stream up, it’ll appear on your Timeline and you can then choose to keep it or delete it.
Livestreaming from your phone is becoming a popular feature, with apps like Periscope and Meerkat gaining traction with regular consumers. As a result, it’s no surprise to see Facebook starting to roll the feature out to its users, too. Facebook wants you to rely on it for all of your needs, like keeping up with your friends and following breaking news, and so it’d like you to use it for streaming video rather than loading up Twitter’s Periscope app.
Facebook is also rolling out a new collage feature. It, too, is pretty self-explanatory. When you tap on Photo in your Facebook app, you’ll see recent “moments” organized into a collage to give a better picture of that event. You can then add, remove, or rearrange the photos and videos that are included in the collage, add a title, and then share it to your Timeline. Collages are rolling out to iPhone users today and Android users early in 2016.
Finally, Facebook has teased a new status update menu on iPhone and Android. The new design includes a drop down list of status update options, like Photo/Video and Check-in, each of which has a colored icon to help you easily distinguish it from the others.