If there was any doubt that the social network was serious about Facebook Live, new features—introduced by the company on Wednesday—should cement FB’s intent to surge ahead in the live video broadcast space in the coming months.
The biggest change to Facebook Live is the integration of the social network’s new Reactions emojis into the live broadcasts. Live Reactions appear and disappear quickly during a video—very similar to the heart responses on Periscope—and give the broadcaster real-time feedback from their friends and family. Facebook also introduced Live Filters, a series of five Instagram-style camera adjustments, and plans to add the ability for broadcasters to draw on their videos in the future as well.
In addition to new features for Facebook Live, the real-time streaming platform will now be available within Groups and Events, enabling broadcasts to more generalized audiences than just Facebook Friends. While this ability has been an option for celebrities via the Mentions app since last Summer, this is the first opportunity for the average Facebook user to broadcast outside of their own personal connections.
Facebook is also creating a centralized place for Live broadcasts in both the mobile and desktop environments. MarketingLand is reporting that the “Messenger” tab on the mobile app will soon be replaced with Facebook Live (as Messenger is already self-contained in its own app). On desktop, Facebook has set up a dedicated Live Map highlighting broadcasts from more than 60 countries worldwide.