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Facebook is taking streaming a step further today, allowing users to broadcast live video to Facebook directly from their desktop or laptop.
Over the past year, users have been able to stream videos from their mobile devices. But streaming from computers will allow for a wider range of uses, especially for gamers. This means that Facebook is taking on Amazon’s Twitch gameplay livestream division.
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Facebook is also adding features that allow people with a Facebook profile to easily integrate streaming software or external hardware when streaming live from a desktop or laptop computer. Erin Connolly, product manager at Facebook, said in a post that stable camera on a laptop or desktop will benefit from many types of broadcasts, from video blogs to tutorials.
For gamers, this makes it easy to stream PC gameplay to friends and followers and engage them while you play. You can go live while playing your favorite game and add a camera to your broadcast so your friends can see your reactions to key moments in the game. You can also share screens and insert graphics, titles and overlays to the screen.
This feature was previously only possible through a page and is now expanding to profiles based on community feedback.
To start a live stream from a computer, click Live Video at the top of your News Feed or timeline, then follow the instructions to add a description and choose your audience.
“With this update, people can seamlessly share their screens, insert graphics, switch cameras, or use pro gear in Facebook Live videos,” Connolly said. “They also have the option to broadcast to Facebook groups they belong to, Facebook events they are part of, or Facebook pages they manage.”
If you’re giving your friends or followers a tutorial or how-to guide, you can incorporate graphics, titles, and on-screen overlays. Or if you’re an artist, you can go live and seamlessly switch between cameras as you narrate the process.
“We want to make Facebook Live as enjoyable and interactive as possible, and we hope these updates will make it easier for people to connect, hang out and share with friends and the public,” Connolly said.
Rival Twitter also lets you stream from non-mobile devices through Periscope Producer.
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