Facebook – like it or not, everybody has heard of the social networking giant. The company tries to keep up with all the latest trends, and has even bought a few companies in the past in order to do so – Oculus, WhatsApp, and Instagram are all good examples of this. However, apps like Periscope and Meerkat have shown that the next ‘big thing’ is live broadcasting from your smartphone, and while Facebook originally offered this functionality for celebrities, it has now been rolled out globally. Here, we show you how to go live on Facebook for Android and iOS along with a few tips to get the most out of the Facebook live streaming experience. Read next: Best Facebook Messenger tips and tricks
How to go live on Facebook for Android and iOS
Setting up a live broadcast on Facebook for Android and iOS is fairly easy, just follow our how to (click images to enlarge them):
Step 1) Head to the Facebook news feed and tap ‘Status’ to write a new Facebook status.
Step 2) A new button should appear on the bottom right-hand side of the status composition window depicting a silhouetted person with waves radiating from its head – tap that to set up a live video broadcast.
Step 3) Select your privacy options (You don’t want any Tom, Dick or Harry looking at your broadcast, right?) and give a brief description of your live broadcast to entice your friends/fans to watch.
Step 4) Once you’re happy, tap ‘Go Live’. A three-second countdown will appear on the screen to prepare you, and your live broadcast will begin.
Step 5) Broadcast! Make it interesting, and keep an eye on the comments section to interact with friends/fans. Facebook says that mentioning commenters by name during the broadcast will be “thrilling” for them, although we’re assuming this piece of advice is for celebrities and not an average joe.
Step 6) Once the broadcast is finished, tap ‘Finish’ in the bottom right-hand corner to end the stream.
Step 7) Your video broadcast will then be uploaded to your Facebook profile for others (that weren’t online at the time) to watch. You’ll receive a message telling you how long the broadcast was, along with an option to delete it. If you don’t want it on your profile, simply tap ‘delete’ and it’ll be removed.
Read next: Facebook rolls out Reactions
Facebook live broadcast tips and tricks: How to get the most out of Facebook live broadcasts
1) Make sure you have a strong Internet connection. Nobody wants to sit through a poor quality stream that is constantly cutting out, so it’s best to be connected to a fast data or Wi-Fi network. We’d probably avoid using data unless necessary, though, as broadcasting live video may eat a large chunk of your data allowance.
2) Go live via a Facebook page. While many will assume that the only way to go live on Facebook is via their personal profiles, they’re wrong. Facebook also allows users to go live via a Facebook page, enabling celebrities and publications to directly connect to their fans via a public channel.
3) Choose who can see your broadcast. We’re not talking about changing your broadcast privacy settings as we mention above. Instead, we’re talking about the ability to broadcast a live video to a specific Facebook group, but only if the group administrator allows it. This provides a way for users with specific interests to watch/broadcast a live video without bothering the rest of their Facebook friends. The same goes for event pages too, giving those that clicked ‘maybe’ a glimpse of what they’re missing in real time.
4) Get your friends/fans to Follow you. Whenever you go live, your viewers will be presented with a ‘Follow’ button under your stream. You should prompt your viewers to tap the ‘Follow’ button, as they’ll receive a notification whenever you go live, building up both views and engagement.
5) Get creative. While the features haven’t rolled out to our personal Facebook profiles just yet, Facebook recently added the ability to add tinted filters and drawings to your live broadcast. We’re not quite sure why you’d want to doodle on your live stream, but hey, the option is there if needed!