Your friends and family can't always be in the same place as you, but they can now be in the same moment. Facebook Live, one of the most popular features on Facebook, enables you to share experiences in real time directly from your smartphone.
Whether you are a parent sharing your baby's first steps with relatives overseas, an athlete offering fans a sneak peek of your 'power diet' or an aspiring musician broadcasting a performance, Live will completely change the way you share and connect with the world.
When you broadcast Live, you are now sharing moments as they happen, giving friends and family the opportunity to experience your life as if they were right there with you. Here's how to get started.
Going Live is as easy as posting a status update from your iPhone or Android device. When you click "Status" you will see the Live Video icon in the menu of actions. Select the icon, which will take you to a broadcast screen, add a description (be creative!) and click "Go Live." You'll get a 3-second countdown and now you're Live. It's that simple.
Here are few things to keep in mind before going Live:
- Make sure you have a strong WiFi or 4G connection. If your connection is weak, the "Go Live" button will be grayed out and you will not be able to broadcast.
- While you can Live from either an Android or iOS device, an iPhone will give you the option of broadcasting vertically or horizontally. It is important to choose how you want to broadcast in advance of your Live to ensure you are capturing content in its most compelling format.
- If you are broadcasting a big event like a graduation or a wedding, build anticipation for your live event by posting in advance to let people know when they can tune in to your broadcast.
- Create a Facebook Event for your Live and directly broadcast from the Event page to your invitees. Or, if you already have a Group for your family or friends with specific interests, broadcast to your Group.
- Determine what your Live will be about, considering how and when you will answer comments and questions coming in from those watching.
- Have a closing line ready to use when you sign off - nothing is worse than an awkward silence at the end of a Live broadcast so prepare this part in advance!
- Remember, the more advance preparation for your Live, the better the experience will be for your audience.
This is where the magic happens. Whether you are broadcasting your toddler's dance recital or bringing your friends behind-the-scenes at a summer music fest, don't forget to interact with your Live audience so they truly feel part of your experience. Here are a couple tips on how to keep them engaged:
- Set up your shot: You have the option of switching between selfie view and camera view which will allow you to seamlessly video yourself and anything you want to share in front of you, without worrying about flipping the camera. Use selfie view to address your audience.
- Interact: Questions and comments from live viewers will appear onscreen. Make sure to mention their names when answering their questions.
- Never miss a Live: Let fans and friends know they can subscribe to get a notification the next time you are Live by tapping the 'Subscribe' button in the top right corner.
- Make it discoverable: Try to broadcast for a duration that will give family and friends time to discover your video when it is Live (10 - 90 minutes is ideal).
- Get creative: Use one of five filters to personalize your Live broadcasts. Plus, coming soon, you'll be able to draw or doodle on your video while live.
That's a wrap
Once you have said your closing line and hit finish, wait 3 seconds until you hear the "ping" sound that signals you are no longer live, before moving your phone. Once wrapped, your video will be automatically saved to your page.
Explore Live content from communities and people across the world through Live Map. Accessible from your desktop under "Apps" (located in the navigation panel on the left-hand side of your home page), Live Map shows you who's broadcasting at that moment anywhere in the world. If you'd like your video to appear on the Live Map, make sure you choose "Public" as the privacy setting for your broadcast.
Facebook Live is delivering the best content to your friends and fans in a truly social way, allowing them the opportunity to interact with you as key moments unfold. We may not have the technology to teleport, but through Live, we can be where the action is as it is happening.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are a few of our favourite Live broadcasts from early adopters in Canada:
Newly minted Astronaut David Saint-Jacques answers questions Live from Canadian Space Agency's Facebook Page:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brings Canadians along on his State Visit to Washington DC:
Hope to see you Live soon!