Facebook’s New Update Just Made Live Broadcasting Way Easier

Facebook has been pushing live video pretty hard since early 2016 – and with a few recent changes to how it works and who can use it, this feature is right on the brink of looking a whole lot different.

The short version is that you can now share live video from your desktop, no handheld device required. If you want to just sit at your desk and fire up the camera on your laptop, you can go live!

The longer version, though, is that this is just one part of the equation – this and other changes add up to kind of a dramatic change of direction for this feature.

What’s it all mean for you and your Facebook habits?

Let’s take a look!

Live video is easier and more accessible…

…and not just for the reasons you may think!

Because on the one hand, of course Facebook wants live video to be popular – but until now, it’s been only under very specific circumstances.

By spending a ton of money in 2016 incentizing big media companies to share live video, Facebook ensured that a lot of quality content was created using the feature. Sites like BuzzFeed, for example, have used it for everything from viral stunts to interviewing the President of the United States.

BuzzFeed Live Interview Obama.png

Even as live video rolled out to more users, it was a mobile-only feature, encouraging users to get up from their desks, shoot on the go, and focus on creating better-looking broadcasts. (After all, the built-in camera in a Macbook doesn’t even shoot at the max resolution of a Facebook live video.)

Now that you can broadcast on desktop, it’ll be a lot faster and easier to open up Facebook and share a simple, straightforward confessional-camera style video. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – a lot of professional, well-lit YouTube stars have proven just how much you can do with the right setup!)

easy-a-webcam

That’s not the only big change coming to Facebook live in 2017, either.

While live broadcasts used to be exclusive to Page admins, Pages will now be able to give designated “Live Contributors” the ability to go live without having to hand over admin access.

(So they can go live, but they can’t change the company’s profile picture to a photo of former US President Rutherford B. Hayes. Which is a very real concern.)

The restrictions on who can go live on Facebook and when are tumbling down fast – and that could have a huge effect on how people use this feature altogether!

What to expect from Facebook live now

According to a report by Recode, Facebook isn’t necessarily pushing live video to publishers the way it did in 2016 – and some of the publishers who’d been paid to use and popularize the feature wouldn’t necessarily accept an offer to continue doing so, saying that putting together professional broadcasts took too much time and effort.

Now that going live will require a lot less of those two things, it might lose a little bit of its prestige – but it could gain a lot of popularity at the same time.

Consider one of Facebook’s other major upcoming changes to live broadcasting: the ability to share live audio. It’s another way for live broadcasting to become more accessible, and to cater to as wide a variety of content creators as possible – not just those with the means and the time to shoot professional-grade video.

rey-i-can-do-this

Now that going live is about to be easier than ever – and offer more options for creators – a format that hasn’t always necessarily been a big draw for a lot of users could suddenly become a lot more popular.

In 2016, putting together a live broadcast meant giving someone else admin access to your Facebook Page and shooting on a handheld device – now, all a person needs is Live Contributor access and a laptop with a camera. (Or even just a microphone.)

It makes sense that as Facebook spent a year or so hyping the feature as much as possible, they’d want the live content being produced to have a certain style and level of quality. (It’s telling that they’ve also recently started cracking down on the visibility of graphics-only broadcasts, like countdown clocks.)

Now that live broadcasting is well-established as a feature to be reckoned with – to the extent that it’s also now available on Twitter and Instagram – Facebook is laying off on the restrictions and encouraging as many types of content creators as possible to give it a whirl.

Which brings us to the big question…

Are you ready to go live?

Now that Facebook allows you to broadcast live right from your web browser, are you thinking of giving it a try?

Or are you worried that making live broadcasting so accessible might lead to a glut of content?

We want to know what you think – so share your thoughts in the comments below!

  • This could be a game changer in the world of live streaming and influencer marketing for brands. Will be interesting to see how this will continue to evolve.

    Curious what are everyone’s thoughts on how this will effect other services like YouTube?

  • Keiko Elizabeth

    Awesome! Can I go live in landscape view on my phone? I thought my phone had to be in vertical position, but since most phone videos are shot in landscape, all of my equipment is designed to hold my phone this way. I don’t want to buy an tripod adaptor just for FB Live, so I’d love to see them make this adjustment.

  • Kat Fulton

    I love your content, and have been learning from Laura for YEARS! (I”m the gong girl from her online show in San Diego.) I’m also an Edgar fanatic, and we’ve been a customer for over a year – yahoo!

    Question is… I cannot create auto-captions from FB with my historical Live vids. Are you also finding this to be the case? Are there any work-arounds? I would love for the historical live vids to have captions. TIA

    • Tom VanBuren

      Thanks so much, Kat!

      As for the captions issue, it seems like a YMMV sort of situation right now – so even if it doesn’t seem to be working the way you’d expect just yet, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on over time to see if that changes!

  • Tom VanBuren

    They just announced this last week, and in some cases, new features don’t hit everyone at exactly the same time. Worth keeping an eye out, though!

  • Tom VanBuren

    Thanks for reading it!

  • Tom VanBuren

    Thanks, Mila!

  • Tom VanBuren

    Hey Meg! You may see it on your Page, like in the bottom-right of this screenshot. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/442301af17374801bee4f403666db2838a80110b0ee77beb95bee684bb95ddc4.png

  • Tom VanBuren

    Good question – time will tell on that one! (Even if it doesn’t support it right away, FB is always updating its popular features, so definitely don’t rule it out.)

  • Bill Tozzo

    Sure wish there was more “how to” in the post – just a clue is all I need. I can’t find it on my status update menu and a Google search turned up old posts with 3rd party software.

  • LOVE ! Love! Meet Edgar! Thanks for keeping us up to date on all the new features!

    • Tom VanBuren

      Thanks, Joyce – glad it’s useful!

  • Anamae Ford

    Is the option from laptop only available for pages? Tried today inside my FB Group and wasn’t given the option!

    • Tom VanBuren

      Hard to say right now, since the feature hasn’t been rolling out to every user at the same time. The full extent of this update should be more apparent soon, though!

      • Anamae Ford

        tks!!

  • I am stumped. Do we need a special browser, or Windows10 to go live from desktop? I am not seeing that option on my PC inside of FB pages or groups. What am i missing?

    PS: Never mind. See it on my page, but not in the group.