Facebook Expands Live Video Beyond Celebrities

Live-streaming through Facebook, once available only for celebrities and public figures, is being rolled out today, starting with a small percentage of iOS users in the U.S.

Facebook is taking live video to the masses.

Today, the company is beginning to roll out a feature that allows regular users to broadcast live video directly on Facebook. Previously, this feature was available only to public figures and celebrities via Facebook's Mentions app. (See what it looks like above.)

Julie Zhuo, director of product design at Facebook, told BuzzFeed News that the initial rollout was met with a positive response among Facebookers. "I think we've gotten a lot of great feedback," she said. "What we heard was just people really wanted to use it as well [as celebrities]."

Though the current live-streaming market already has a handful of established apps — see: Periscope, Meerkat — Facebook's product could find a niche with those who are interested in broadcasting more personal moments, such as college graduations, but not looking to share them with the world. Facebook's privacy settings can be applied when sharing a live video, so if you want only a limited group to see your broadcast, you can restrict who it will reach.

"People are excited to use it for events," Zhuo said, offering examples of a hike, a dinner party, and Christmas morning. "These are meaningful moments in people's lives that they want to bring loved ones closer in who can't physically be there."

When a live stream is completed, it will remain on Facebook as a normal video that can be watched after the broadcast. The feature will begin rolling out today, starting with a small percentage of iOS users in the U.S.

Here's one more example of live streaming on Facebook, in case you're looking for inspiration: