Online video has become a significant attractive element of social media sites. Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) continue to evolve with new features such as autoplay video to keep users engaged on their respective Web portals. Facebook has announced the rollout of live video streaming to all iPhone users across the United States.
This new feature will be part of the Facebook app. Users will be able to tap the Live Video icon and choose an audience with whom to share a video before going live. While broadcasting, a user can see the number of live viewers, their names, and the real-time comments for the video.
Live video streaming is similar to Twitter’s Periscope video service where a user can share moments as they are happening. However, Periscope doesn’t have restrictions on sharing videos with a specific set of users. Twitter reported that Periscope had 10 million users within five months of launching. Facebook reported in its 3Q15 earnings that its users watched 8 billion videos per day, which increased from 1 billion a year ago. Google’s (GOOG) YouTube also supports live streaming videos by incorporating a third-party app.
Facebook has an advantage over its rivals with a large user base of 1.6 billion in 4Q15. Facebook will incorporate this new feature to its flagship app where, according to Facebook, users spend 20% of their time on a mobile device. Users will be able to allow notifications when someone wants to share live videos with them. This is instead of Facebook asking users to go live.