Facebook Live came to Facebook in 2016, and while it was originally only offered to verified accounts or public figures, all Facebook users now have the ability to live stream directly to their news feed. In the first two years of Facebook Live there were over 3.5 billion live broadcasts, and live streaming continues to grow in popularity. Join in on this popular trend and share your own live videos on Facebook.
What is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is a feature that allows users to live-stream and share live videos directly to their Facebook friends. Live videos appear on your Facebook newsfeed and as stories. Facebook Live makes it easy to interact with friends and followers, as they can tune in live and like or comment on your video as you record.
Businesses, brands, and influencers can use Facebook live to engage with their audience and use live streaming as a marketing tool. Users are more likely to watch and engage with live videos; Facebook has reported that live broadcasts have six times the number of interactions compared to normal videos.
Live broadcasts are often used to share events in real time, behind-the-scenes footage, or to start a conversation or a Q&A with followers and friends. Facebook Live videos can last up to four hours.
How To Use Facebook Live
To create your own Facebook Live video, you’ll need a smartphone or a computer with a camera and microphone, as well as a decent internet connection. Learn how to share your own Facebook Live video and how to add special features as well as how to watch and engage with live-streamed content on Facebook.
How to Live Stream on Facebook (Mobile Version)
Anyone can share a Facebook Live video. To share a live video from your smartphone, follow these steps:
- Open the Facebook app & log in.
- At the top of your screen under the status update bar, click “Live”.
- Click “Tap to Add a Description” and type in a title or description for your video.
- Click “Start Live Video” to begin streaming.
There are other features you can add to your Facebook Live video as well. Click the magic wand button to add a filter or mask. Other buttons along the bottom of your screen offer options like “Lip Sync Live” to post a lip sync video, “Create a Poll” to add a poll, “Draw It” to draw on your live video, and “Bring a Friend” to invite another Facebook user to go live with you.
You can also alter the settings of your live video to adjust who can see it and where your video will be shared. To change your settings on Facebook Live, click the “To” option at the top of your screen before you go live. You can choose to share your live video to the public, friends only, as a post or as a story, and you can choose to hide your video from certain friends. You can also share live videos to groups.
If you share your Facebook Live video as a story, it will only be visible while you are live; after that it will disappear. Sharing your live video as a post will save the video to your profile permanently.
How to Live Stream on Facebook on Your Computer
Facebook Live videos can also be shared from a computer, provided you have a webcam and microphone. To share from a computer, you’ll have to allow Facebook to access your camera. Follow these steps to share a live video on a desktop:
- Log in to Facebook on your browser of choice
- Under “Create New Post” at the top of your newsfeed, click the three dots in the bottom right corner.
- Click “Live Video”.
- Allow Facebook access to your camera and microphone if necessary.
- Add a description or title and click “Go Live” to begin your live broadcast.
You can adjust your settings on the desktop version of Facebook Live in the right sidebar that appears on screen before you go live, pictured below. Change who can see your Facebook Live video, where it is posted, or add a poll in the “Interactive” tab. Some features offered on the smartphone version are not available on the desktop version of Facebook live.
How To Watch Facebook Live Videos
Facebook often sends push notifications when a friend or someone you follow starts a live video. Click that notification to watch their live video. Depending on where the live video has been shared, you can also view Facebook Live videos on your newsfeed or in your Facebook stories. Facebook stories appear at the top of your newsfeed on the Facebook app, or in a box on the top right of your newsfeed on the desktop version. Simply click the story to begin watching.
How To Turn Off Live Notifications on Facebook
If you are tired of notifications letting you know that friends have started streaming on Facebook Live, you can adjust your settings to turn off notifications. Follow these steps to turn off notifications for Facebook Live videos:
- Click the three vertical lines at the bottom right corner of your screen and scroll down to click “Settings & Privacy” > “Settings” (mobile), or click the drop down menu at the top left corner and click “Settings” (desktop).
- Scroll down to “Notifications” and click “Notification Settings” (mobile) or click “Notifications” on the left sidebar (desktop).
- Click “Video” and turn off push notifications (mobile) or find “Live Videos” and switch notifications to “Off” on the dropdown menu (desktop).
How To Save Facebook Live Videos
When you share your Facebook Live video as a post, it automatically saves the video as a post on your profile. If you share your live video as a story, it will only be visible while you are live streaming, and will disappear once you finish your video.
If you want to save your Facebook Live video to share on another platform, doing so is easy. All you have to do is find the video on your profile, click the three dots at the top right corner of the post, and click “Download Video” to save the video to your device as an MP4 file.
Facebook does not offer a way to save someone else’s live video to your phone or computer, but it is possible though third party websites. Try a site like SaveFrom.net to download another users Facebook Live video – simply copy and paste the video URL to SaveFrom.net and click download. If you just want to save the video on Facebook to watch again later, click the three dots at the top right corner of the post and click “Save Video” to save the video to your Facebook video archive.
Facebook Live Tips
Facebook users can share live videos just for fun, but often live videos are used to increase engagement with friends and followers or to promote an event, brand, or connect with fans. If you plan to use Facebook Live to further engage online, optimize your live video by following these tips to live stream like a pro.
Share with “Only Me” first. If you’ve never posted a Facebook Live video, test out your live streaming skills by doing a test run. One of the options for sharing a live video is to share with “Only Me” so only you can view your live video. Try creating a live video on this setting first to check on your video and audio quality, test out your internet connection, and to get a better grip on the settings and functions available on Facebook Live.
Plan your broadcast. Assuming that you’re going live with a purpose or goal, plan what you want to say in your video before you begin. This will prevent any awkward silences and keep you on track during the live video.
Tell your followers in advance. To attract a larger audience, let your friends and followers know a day or a few hours before you go live. This way, they’ll know when to tune in if they’re interested.
Always include a description. A compelling description will get more users to watch your video and will let them know what you’ll be talking about in your video. Including an informative and interesting description will improve engagement, while no description or a vague one may prevent friends and followers from watching.
Engage with comments. Comments appear at the bottom of your video while you stream. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, either in your video or by commenting back.
Reintroduce yourself or your guests. Users can tune in to Facebook Live videos at any moment, so they may jump in halfway through and miss the introduction. Try to remind those watching who you are, what your video is about, and who you’re speaking with if someone else is also on your live video.
Encourage viewers to share, follow, or turn on live notifications. To expand your audience, ask those watching to share your video, follow you (if they don’t already) and to turn on live notifications so that they will see your next Facebook Live video.