This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.
Facebook has just entered the business of live streaming video. Over the past number of months live streaming has soared following the launch of Meerkat and then Periscope. While there is no doubt that Periscope is the more polished app of the two, Facebook wants in on the action. However, in a bizarre move, you can only live stream on Facebook if you are famous.
The feature has been added to Facebook Mentions, an app launched in July 2014 which allows celebrities to keep track on comments and help them engage with fans. In order to get the app you need to be famous, so that means that the actual ability to live stream on Facebook is still not going to be there for most of us.
‘Live’ will show up in your feed if a celebrity you follow decides to live stream. You will get a notification about the broadcast and you can like, comment or share the video while viewing the stream. For the celebrities in the room, starting a stream is a simple as selecting live video in the Mentions app, add a description and then hit Go Live when ready.
As with both Meerkat and Periscope, the camera can be toggled between the back and front, the celebs will see how many people are tuning in and they can also choose to hide or view comments – so don’t be surprised if they are not responding to you while they are live streaming.
The option to hide comments is an interesting one, the whole fascination around live streaming at the moment is that you can interact with the audience there and then. Removing comments then removes that interaction and all we get then is a celebrity talking to the camera on their phone.
Facebook has been coming under fire recently for its video practices and policies however adding live streaming to the second most trafficked site in the world was inevitable really. They way in which they have chosen to introduce live video is a bit odd, as we mentioned it is exclusive to celebs.
It is unclear if Facebook will be making the ability to live stream available to all users at some point in the future. So for now, celebs can live stream on Facebook while the rest of us peasants will continue to use Meerkat and Periscope.