Explained: What is Facebook Live?

Explained: What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is the latest addition to the social network. The new feature gives users the ability broadcast live videos on Facebook directly from their smartphones.

Why Is Live Streaming so Popular?

There has been an increase in popularity and demand for live streaming apps and services since the introduction of apps like Meerkat and Periscope early last year. Facebook’s latest addition aims to keep up with these changing demands online especially among younger audiences.

Live Streaming apps are a great way for users to share real time experiences from events, concerts, games and festivals.


We should all expect to see a lot more live video streaming on Facebook and other social networks/apps.


How Does it Work?

To start a live broadcast:
1. Log into the Facebook iOS app or Facebook Android app
2. Go to the top of your timeline (where you normally create a post)
3. Tap on the pen tool (to write/create the post).
4. Tap Go Live to begin your broadcast

When you want to end your broadcast, tap Finish.


What Happens to a Live Video once the Broadcast Ends?

The video can still be viewed on your profile/page by friends after the broadcast finishes. For more information on Facebook video privacy go to: facebook.com/help/videos


Who Will See Facebook Live Videos?

You can customise your audience when posting a Live Video. This is done the same way as you would with a standard Facebook post. You can block viewers during a live broadcast by tapping the profile picture next to a viewer’s comment and then tapping Block. Live videos can also be shared within groups and events.

Facebook users can also view public Live Videos on the Facebook Live Map. This shows Live Videos from users across the world on an interactive map.

Where Do Live Videos Show up?

Like Facebook posts and photos, Live Videos will show up on Newsfeeds. Once a broadcast has finished, the video will also show up on your profile and in your videos album.

Can Live Videos Be Reported?

As with other videos and content on Facebook, users do have an option to report Live Videos and Live Video content falls under the same community standards and terms as all other Facebook content. For more information on reporting go to: facebook.com/help/report.

Lip Sync Live

Facebook Live now has the added option of lip syncing, similar to the popular teen app Musical.ly. Facebook has signed a number of deals with music companies to allow users to lip sync to their favourite artists, with hundreds of popular songs already available. Drake, Camila Cabello and Guns and Roses are some of the artists available on the platform. Once you have chosen the song you would like to sing to, you can a description, background or even a mask to your broadcast. You can sing along to your favourite songs by yourself or use the ‘Live With’ function to lip sync with friends. As you lip sync to your hearts content, your friends will be able to see the artist and song title and follow their pages from your live broadcast. These new capabilities are being tested before being rolled out fully.

Are there any Risks?

With all the social networks and apps where users can share content online, there are risks. We would recommend that users check their Facebook privacy settings, choose a friends only options for posting Live Videos and be careful about giving away personal information in your videos for example location, school etc.

UPDATE: Under the new E.U General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Ireland has now set the Digital Age of Consent to 16 years old. This means young people under the age of 16 in Ireland are not allowed to access this platform.

For more considerations, check out our post on live-streaming.

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Worried about something you have seen online or concerned about your child? Childline and the National Parents Council Primary offer free advice and support service.

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