Facebook announces live-streaming for brands

The social network is now rolling out Live to verified pages. Previously, the feature was only available to a select handful of celebrities and powerhouse users.

Brand managers can be part of the live-streaming trend without leaving Facebook.

On Thursday, the social network announced that its Live feature—which rivals competitors Periscope, Meerkat and Blab—is now available for verified pages.

On Thursday, Facebook product manager Vadim Lavrusik and Facebook engineering manager Dave Capra explained how the new feature works:

… With Live, sports teams, media companies, brands, and other verified Pages can make announcements, share breaking news updates, take fans behind the scenes, host Q&As, and more.

To share live video, go to your Page on Facebook for iOS and tap Publish. Select Live Video and write a quick description before going live. During your broadcast, you’ll see the number of viewers, the names of other verified people or Pages who are tuning in, and a real-time stream of comments. When you end your broadcast, it will be published on your Timeline so that fans who missed it can watch the video at a later time, although you have the option to remove it just like any other post.

People who like your Page can discover your live videos in News Feed and through notifications on Facebook. While watching a live video, people can tap the Subscribe button to get notified the next time your Page goes live.

A handful of celebrities, public figures and influential social media users had access to Facebook Livein August. Two weeks ago, the social network announced it was rolling out the feature to all users.

Cisco reported that roughly 80 percent of the world’s Internet consumption will be video by 2019. Though it’s hard to deny the power of live-streaming and video in today’s digital media landscape, many are not sure how to use the tools effectively.

PR and marketing pros looking for guidance can read Facebook’s tips and best practices, sign up for social media and digital PR training or glean insights from other brands that are live-streaming.

RELATED: Escalate your social media game at Ragan’s Disney best practices summit.

Several pages—such as “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”—have been using Live via Facebook Mentions since last year. Fallon showed the power of live-streaming on Facebook with his first post:

Monologue rehearsal with Jimmy Fallon

Posted by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, December 10, 2015

More than 26,000 viewers jumped on the stream in less than three minutes to watch the late-night host practice his monologue.

Other early adopters to the feature can give PR and marketing pros ideas for the tool as well. The Wall Street Journal gave fans a look at what it’s like to interview presidential candidates at the U.S. Republican debate:

Update: The stream has ended. Take look at the chaotic spin room after the debate. The Fox Business/Wall Street…

Posted by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Indian Cricket Team used Live to host a Q&A session with its batsman Ajinkya Rahane:

Team India batsman, Ajinkya Rahane interacted LIVE with his fans from Nagpur, India

Posted by Indian Cricket Team on Monday, November 23, 2015

“The Hunger Games” took fans behind the scenes during the world premiere of “Mockingjay, Part 1.” The film franchise’s social media team announced updates on its Facebook page as it was streaming from the red carpet:

We are LIVE from the #MockingjayUS Premiere red carpet! Experience the epic conclusion and get an all access pass LIVE on Facebook!

Posted by The Hunger Games on Monday, November 16, 2015

How do you think the tool will affect your online efforts, PR Daily readers?

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