The way the big tech companies like Facebook are adding new features to their products is now such a blur it is difficult to keep up. Facebook live stream is now available for users of Facebook. For now only users in the United States would get to enjoy the service. This live video service let’s users stream what they are doing in real-time.
Announcing the Facebook live stream in a blog post today, Vadis Lavrusik, the product manager made it known that successful tests were carried out since December last year. And in the coming weeks, the rest of the world would start enjoying the service too.
For now, the Facebook live stream service does not have a dedicated icon on the Facebook app user interface. It is integrated into the Facebook app and appears besides the option to add a video, tag a person, add an emoticon or add a photo to a status update..
When tapped, the stream goes live. But before that, the app asks permission to access your video and camera. So you need to grant it permission for the app to start live streaming. Your friends (or the public if you grant the service permission to share the stream to the public) should get a notification that the streaming service from you has started.
You friends can then watch, like or comment on what they are watching.
The Facebook live stream is similar to what Twitter is doing with Periscope. After acquiring Periscope for about $50 million last year, Twitter integrated Periscope into the twitter app so that people can share sreaming videos to their followers.
Launching the Facebook live stream therefore looked as if Facebook is muscling in on Twitter’s territory. The fact is, that is a plan that has being in the works for sometime now. This must be one of the results of what Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, said about Facebook’s plans to invest more money and resources into the development of real time sharing, which is one of Twitter’s strongest suits.
Twitter should be worried. With over 1.5 billion people using Facebook, it is very likely that the Facebook live streaming service would, in a short time be the premier video streaming app in the social media world. A good video streaming app would undoubtedly attract more users to Facebook. More users inevitably translates into more money for Facebook through online ads.
However, Facebook has a habit of releasing apps with a lot of fanfare with promises of good things to come. Then, a few months later, it is silence. The app has being quietly dumped for one reason or the other. For instance, when the app, Paper, was launched in 2014, Facebook claimed it was going to revolutionize how we read news online. But the app appears dead since the last time it received an update in March 2015.
But Twitter should not rest easy thinking that the Facebook live stream service may just disappear after a few months like others before it. If it becomes a success, it might just render Twitter”s Periscope redundant. And perhaps kill Twitter too.