Facebook live-streaming brings the Love and the Wow, with a side of sepia

The social network releases new features to amp up your live broadcasts, including Instagram-like filters and the ability to find other live videos.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read
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Now you can click on "reaction" emojis during Facebook Live videos.


Facebook Live is about to get livelier.

The social network on Wednesday introduced new features for its live-streaming service, which lets people broadcast live video feeds over the Internet using a phone's camera. The video streams can be watched by other people on Facebook.

Among the new features: Viewers can click on Facebook's gamut of new "reactions" -- emojis for Like, Love, Wow and other emotions -- at any point during a live stream. (It feels a bit like a focus group tool.) And if you're the one doing the live streaming, you'll be able to add filters to the video, like monochrome or sepia tones.

"We're entering this new golden age of video," CEO Mark Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed. "I wouldn't be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video."

Watch this: Facebook perks up Live video by copying ideas from other apps

The update to Facebook Live comes as competition builds among live-streaming services. Facebook's biggest rival in this area is Twitter's Periscope app. There's also speculation that Google's YouTube is readying a similar product to be called YouTube Connect.

The point is that live streaming is a crowded market. Already, one company, Meerkat, has been forced to drop live-streaming services, though it hasn't decided what to replace them with. Facebook, with its 1.5 billion users, wants to make sure it's the top choice.


You can add Instagram-like filters to live-streamed videos.


Facebook's new features are designed to help people feel more in the moment. When you replay a video that's ended, you can also replay the comments, which pop up as they did during the live broadcast. Facebook also lets you invite friends to watch live videos with you and has created a section to help you discover new videos.

Feeling artistic? Facebook teased an upcoming feature that will let you doodle on your live videos a la Snapchat. The company has been desperately trying to evoke Snapchat because the latter is so popular with teens and young adults. The feature isn't ready yet, but Facebook said it's "coming soon."

The social network has been pouring big bucks into Live, and it has reportedly been trying to court celebrities by offering them money to use it. The biggest sign of its importance to Facebook: COO Sheryl Sandberg, a celebrity herself, is apparently leading the recruiting effort.

The company is also paying media companies to use the service as well. BuzzFeed and Vox Media have confirmed the partnership, and other are rumored to be involved as well. CBS Interactive, the parent company of CNET, is not a partner.

Don't think you'll be able to ignore what Facebook is up to here. The company has rejiggered its algorithms so that live videos pop up to the top of everyone's news feeds.

Update, 10:16 a.m. PT: Adds quote from Zuckerberg and details of media partnerships.