Back in December, Facebook gave the general public a small taste of what it’s like to share live video on the platform — a privilege previously reserved for celebrity types — starting with a small percentage of iPhone users in the U.S.
Today, the social networking giant announced that it has expanded live video sharing to everyone in the U.S. with an iPhone, and it will roll it out to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.
Obviously, Facebook is chasing the tails of Meerkat and Periscope in this arena, but its 1.55 billion monthly active users makes the development noteworthy news.
All iPhone users in the U.S. can now broadcast live by tapping on Update Status and then selecting the Live Video icon. They can then write a short description and choose the audience they wish to share with before going live. During broadcasts, Facebook will display the number of live viewers, the names of friends tuning in, and a real-time stream of comments. When a broadcast ends, it will be saved on the user’s timeline.
Facebook users can discover live videos from friends and public figures they follow in their news feeds, and they can tap the subscribe button while a live video is playing to be notified the next time the broadcaster goes live.