Including Live Rehearsals and Watch Party Replays
Facebook has announced a range of new video features and tools as part of its presentation to the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam this week.
The new updates relate to Facebook Live, Watch Parties and Creator Studio – here’s an overview of each element.
Facebook’s adding a range of new features to Facebook Live, including Live rehearsals, replay trimming and simulcast Live broadcasting.
On rehearsals, Facebook says that it will now provide an option for publishers to broadcast their Live videos to Page admins and editors only, enabling them to test their ideas before sharing them to a larger audience.
Live video creators have been calling for a rehearsal option for some time, enabling them to iron out the kinks before sharing with the world. It’s a simple addition, but one that will no doubt prove popular with those looking to make best use of the option. The option will also be available via the Live API.
Facebook’s also providing a new ‘Trimming’ option so that publishers can cut off the beginning and end parts of their Live broadcast replays.
“Publishers often start a Live stream before the action begins, and this “stand by” slate can make the critical first seconds of the recorded video less engaging. With the trimming feature, publishers can specify exactly when they want the action to begin, or cut off the last few seconds of the broadcast as desired.”
Most video recording options now have a similar trim tool built-in, so it’s mostly moving in line with general video trends. And definitely, as Facebook notes, those first seconds – when broadcasters are often saying their hellos and waiting for people to join – can be painful when checking out a replay.
Facebook is also extending the maximum duration of Live videos to 8 hours when broadcasting via the API, up from the current 4-hour limit.
“We know that some publishers require longer broadcasting times to accommodate things like sporting events, news days and gaming broadcasts, so this update will enable them to capture the full length of these events. For example, NASA used this new capability to broadcast an 8-hour space walk.”
Facebook did announce a continuous live-stream API back in 2016, which enabled selected publishers to broadcast 24/7, though that option does not enable replays, and is still only available to selected partners. The 8 hour limit will now apply to everyone else.
Facebook’s also adding in a new simulcast option, which will enable Live video publishers to “broadcast simultaneously to more than one online streaming service” via the Live API, which could make it easier to share your content to a larger audience, while Facebook has also now added Live to Facebook Lite, bringing it to a new user group.