Facebook Just Debuted a Livestreaming Feature to Compete With Periscope and Meerkat

Massive user base could give it a leg up

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The livestreaming video space is heating up, and Facebook wants in on the trend.

Today, the social network began rolling out Facebook Live Video, which had been only available to celebrities in recent months and now takes on Twitter-owned Periscope, Meerkat and AOL's Kanvas.

Facebook said the mobile feature lets people broadcast and share their whereabouts in real time. Once someone finishes a stream, a copy of the video is uploaded to the user's profile. Facebook Live Video is initially available to a small group of users with eventual plans to expand it to all users. 

The move shows just how big mobile livestreaming has become in the past year. But Facebook's size could give it an edge over Periscope and Meerkat, which have already grabbed the attention of brands like MasterCard and Taco Bell as a marketing platform.

Unlike Twitter's standalone app Periscope, Facebook is building live video straight into its flagship app—so its users are very likely to try it out since they don't need to download a separate app. It will be fascinating to learn, in the coming months, how many folks to give Facebook Live Video a chance. In August, Periscope said that it had reached 10 million users in four and a half months. 

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook also launched a photo feature today that stitches images together into a scrolling collage.

Both items are seemingly part of Facebook's desire to become a platform for breaking news—similarly to what Twitter has been known for in recent years.


@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.