Facebook has added streaming to user profiles from desktop and laptop computers, allowing users to go live right from their timeline. Users have had the ability to stream from their phones and tablets for the past year, however, this feature had not yet been brought to computers. Facebook’s addition of streaming for computer users will be able to place them in direct competition with other desktop streaming sites like Twitch as now that Facebook Live is available on desktops and laptops they will have a way to appeal to gamers, though the new features that will enable users to stream gameplay is not yet available and will be coming in the near future.
With this new support gamers will be able to stream their games to their Facebook friends and interact with them at the same time, and going live while in the middle of a game lets your friends see your gameplay as well as your reactions to the game. This is an important step for Facebook as the social network has put a lot of effort into establishing itself as the preferred streaming platform, and these changes will allow them to take a step towards game streaming which has so far been dominated by companies like YouTube and Twitch.
Facebook has had this feature for a while, however, it was only available using a Page. Now the feature has been included in user profiles in response to requests from users. Going live on Facebook is easy and requires little more than clicking “Live Video” at the uppermost part of your Timeline. After a few prompts, you will be able to write a short description for your stream and decide who your audience will be. Facebook’s Product Manager Erin Connolly said that the update gives users the ability to stream to groups, events, and pages as well. Broadcasters can add graphics, share their screens and even use professional equipment in their streams. Connolly also pointed out that the goal is to make sure that Facebook Live provides a positive, entertaining experience that inspires people to be interactive and get involved. The new update will make it easier for people separated by greater distances to share moments or feel closer together using Facebook on their computers.