- On Tuesday, Facebook added two new features to its Live video platform that are meant to boost the tool’s interactivity and social aspect, according to a statement by the company.
- Live Chat With Friends lets users chat privately with a selected group during real-time broadcasts without exiting the video. During the actual broadcast, users click the “chat” button with one or more friends to discuss what’s happening in the video. It’s being tested in several countries and will be released later this summer.
- The Live With feature gives users the chance to invite a guest into their live video to interact directly with the broadcaster. Last year, the social media platform launched a similar tool, but only for public figures. Now, it’s available for all users.
With the rollout of these features, the social media behemoth seems to be encouraging more users to connect on its Live video platform, which is good news for marketers who have embraced Live for product announcements, live events and other times when a real-time connection with viewers makes sense. Facebook’s video views, including Live, already reel in around 32 billion views per day, according to statistics by Media Kix. Live works for boosting engagement, as people comment over 10x more on live footage than they do recorded ones, Facebook said. This speaks to the trend in users’ rising desire for immediacy that comes with live-streamed content.
Live Chat With Friends lets users select the group they want to chat with, meaning comments will no longer get lost in the sea of public comments flooding in from users everywhere. And, it’s private, so some people will likely feel more comfortable engaging in these conversations — and helping to rack up Facebook’s user numbers at the same time — when they might not have in earlier iterations of the tool.
For the time being, desktop users seem to be left out of the new experience. These features demonstrate Facebook’s rising focus on both video and mobile interactivity, even as the company deals with violent or criminal footage on the Live platform. By The Wall Street Journal’s count, at least 50 violent incidents have been broadcast over Live. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company is adding 3,000 people to monitor live content and address the issue.