Facebook decided to roll out it’s ‘Facebook Live’ service to all its users. Previously the feature was only available to a few celebrities and media houses to broadcast live events. Mark Zuckerberg the Facebook CEO posted on his wall that Facebook Live would be available to all users. He also said he will be live at 8:00pm (EAT) to answer questions related to Facebook’s latest feature.
“Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together – Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Live also introduced new features such as Live Filters, Live Reactions, Replay, Live comments, Facebook Live Map on desktop and a dedicated place on Facebook’s mobile app. The Live map will enable people visualise public live broadcasts that are happening around the world. The dedicated icon appears after a server side trigger meaning it will gradually roll out to users.
Facebook has started a battle against the Twitter owned Periscope which has enabled users to live broadcast events using its iOS and Android apps. Well Facebook happens to have a larger number of users, 1.59 billion monthly active users to be precise, which may be an advantage over Periscope.
Facebook Live works on Desktops, iOS and Android and live videos can be embedded on websites. So media houses now have an option of broadcasting events live using Facebook and reacher a bigger target audience.
What it means for Uganda
We have social pack data bundles that offer unlimited access to WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter which might make shooting and viewing Live Videos easy. If the telecoms don’t find a block to this then we are bound to enjoy the feature. Imagine a certain television uses Facebook Live broadcast a live broadcast to all its’ viewers. Even those with a small data bundle will be able to view this footage.
However if their is no data or internet subsidy to this then the adaptation rate will be low because our data bundles are very expensive. It’s a matter of time till we see which Live broadcast service will win over the most users. For now its a muddy battle between Hangouts on Air, Periscope, Facebook Live and Youtube.