Finally, Facebook live streaming will be available to everybody after almost four months when it has only been available to celebrities and persons with verified accounts.
Facebook has made the announcement on Wednesday but they haven’t given a time frame for releasing the live broadcasting to the public. However, it seems that they will start with iPhone users from the U.S. The selected ones will see the option ‘Live Video’ in the dialog box of ‘Status Update’.
Bringing the live broadcasting to everybody was challenging for Facebook’s engineers since they have to solve the issue of huge traffic spikes. Celebrities can have millions of Facebook followers so if most of them want to watch a video at the same time the servers have to be prepared.
After making the feature available to the first non-verified users, Facebook will continue to improve the service by decreasing latency. They have already done that, obtaining a few seconds, by using a service called Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP).
RTMP ensures that the live streaming is as sharp and continuous as possible. The service does that by splitting the broadcast into audio and video streams and segmenting those into 4 KB chunks, which help making the streaming smoother and also to reducing latency.
With Live Video, Facebook seeks to rival YouTube and also to increase its video database. There are already about 8 billion video views each day on Facebook and the new feature is expected to dramatically increase that number.
Even if some may argue that it copies Periscope, Facebook Live Video comes with different and better functions. For example, notifications about the broadcasting will only be received by close friends and afterwards the videos are saved automatically and remain visible for ulterior watching.
Even if Facebook hasn’t provided a timeframe for releasing the Live Video function, it is expected that this will be happening sometime during 2016.
iPhone Facebook users will also be the first to have access to a function which lets users organize their photos and videos into collages, starting today. Android users will have access to this function from the beginning of the next year. Collages can be created by just tapping on Photos in the screen with camera roll’s recent moments. They will first appear in chronological order but they can be edited upon the user’s needs. Each tile in the collage, representing a photo or a video, can be resized and their positions can be switched.
Image source: pixabay.com