Facebook has rolled out a live video streaming test for all its users, four months after introducing the feature for celebrities and other high-profile users, a media report said. Following a small test on Thursday, Facebook users will be able to use a redesigned status menu to select "live video", The Verge reported.
As on earlier entrants Meerkat and Periscope, Facebook's streams display the number of live viewers, the names of friends who are watching, and real-time comments as they are written.
But unlike the live-streaming pioneers, Facebook users would be able to save videos to their timeline and can stay there unless they choose to delete them. The move reflects both Facebook's eagerness to capture more of the real-time content.
"The reasons people wanted it were quite different from celebrities," said Julie Zhou, product design director at Facebook. Live video is somewhat at odds with Facebook's algorithmic News Feed, which sorts the hundreds or thousands of posts your friends have shared based on the likelihood you will engage with them.
A live broadcast set to "public" will generate a push notification that only goes out to an algorithmically generated list of "close friends" -- likely a small number of people. "It was really more about inviting friends and families into special moments in people's lives," Julie Zhou said. People might broadcast from Facebook during a child's birthday party, she said, or after reaching the summit of a mountain.