Facebook Testing Way for Hoi Polloi to Stream Live Video, Not Just Celebs

Steps Up Rivalry with Google's YouTube, Twitter's Periscope

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Visitors take a selfie in front of the Like logo outside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., in October.
Visitors take a selfie in front of the Like logo outside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., in October. Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Facebook is making a bolder move into live video, saying it's testing a way for users to share live streams in the news feed.

The company in the last year has become a bigger destination for video, but until now hasn't had a way for its regular users to stream live. It has previously allowed public figures to stream on their pages, and has shown live video of events like presidential debates and question-and-answer sessions with CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook said the test will run with a small percentage of iPhone users in the U.S.

The amount of video on Facebook has skyrocketed in the last two years, with 8 billion daily views on Facebook and more than 500 million people who are watching daily, the company said on its earnings call. Facebook is testing a dedicated video section, vying with Google's YouTube for mobile video attention.

The live product will compete with Twitter's Periscope, and have many of the same features. During a broadcast, users will see the number of live viewers and a stream of their commentary.

-- Bloomberg News

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