Facebook pushes live videos front-and-center in major update

Facebook Live

Facebook has decided to go all-in when it comes to live videos, launching a bunch of new features meant to trap you in an endless loop of feeds. The company clearly thinks videos are the future of social media and is propping up live videos as a worthy opponent to Periscope and Snapchat.

First on the list of changes is a new dedicated tab for videos right in the center of Facebook’s Android and iOS app. The move effectively kicks Messenger out of the prime position. The space will play host to real time videos which are trending and being broadcasted by friends and creators. Even non-live ones will be present in the tab, along with added options to go live yourself.

Second, you’ll now be able to go live in Facebook Groups and Events. This has the potential to be a useful new tool since you’ll be able to do specific things like go live only within your family circle or broadcast a birthday party for people who couldn’t make it to the occasion. Creators could also do special broadcasts for fans who have RSVP-ed an event by streaming backstage shenanigans or a Q&A session.

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Facebook is also looking to make these airings interactive to lend it a more immediate vibe. Its Reactions emojis will now pop up while the feed is playing on top of the video. Even comments are set to appear live, with the brand claiming that these streams get 10 times more feedback than regular videos. It’s also planning to replay the comments as it appeared for people who are watching the broadcast later.

Finally, there’s a new Facebook Live Map which shows you where live videos are being recorded at the moment and a set of 5 basic filters for creators. The company is planning to add the ability to draw or doodle on these feeds later on.