I’m on live TV quite a bit, and while it can be a little unnerving (Helloooo, 4 million people!), there’s something so honest about the fact that viewers are in the moment with you, and when the camera stops rolling, you’re totally done. On the flip-side, people on the other side of the camera love that they get to see a real, anything-can-happen version of those they’re watching.
Which is why it’s not surprising that Facebook Live, Facebook’s new livestreaming video option, took off quickly. Facebook Live is the powerhouse social network’s answer to the popularity of Periscope and Snapchat, services that capture moments in real time, IRL.
So far, celebrities, bloggers, and the random Joe down the street are using it selfie-style to narrate experiences and share thoughts, and companies and media outlets are using it to broadcast interviews and event coverage. I could see myself using it to demo how to use a new gadget or run through the features of an app. In case you’ve got your own broadcasting ideas, I’ve got the need-to-know facts about Facebook Live, here, including (of course!) how to use it.
1. It’s super easy to use
This is good news, right? Facebook Live works on Apple or Android mobile devices and if you already use Facebook, you don’t need to download anything extra. You just open your app and click open a new status update. At the bottom, you’ll see a little red human icon for Live Video. Tap it, and it’ll bring you to a screen where you can enter a description for the video (AKA headline) and choose who will see it (friends, everyone, etc.). The camera is active here so you can set up where you want it to be pointing, and then hit “Go Live.” You’ll get a 3 second countdown, and you’re live!
2. Your videos could be really popular
Your friends and followers will get a notification every time you go live, so they may actually tune in. More importantly, Facebook’s algorithm ranks Live Video higher than regular videos users post, so more people are likely to stumble on it as they scroll.
3. You can interact with people while on camera
The screen will show a little eyeball icon while you film that counts how many people are watching in real time, and likes and comments pop up on the bottom as they come in, too. So you, or the person filming you, can engage with viewers by calling them out by name, answering their questions, and thanking them for likes.
4. The “description” matters
When you’re about to go live, it can be tempting to just type a super simple few words into the description box, but spend some time prior writing a good headline for what you’re about to broadcast. Here’s why: Facebook Live videos appear in the News Feed on mute. The only way you’re going to get people to turn the sound on is if they’re intrigued by the topic (or you’re looking really hot that day).
5. After they’re live, you get to keep them
No, this is not a Snapchat situation. When you’re done filming, the video is archived on your Facebook page just like if you had posted a regular video or photo, and you can always go back and edit the description and read comments. It’ll also continue to accrue views and likes if people watch the archived version.
Now that I think about it, I probably should have told you all of this via a Facebook Live video, but what are you gonna do?
What will you use Facebook Live for? Tell me in the comments and I’ll be sure to tune in!