Any Web site owner can now put up a stream of Facebook status updates, using a feature that the social networking platform introduced on Wednesday.
The Facebook Live Stream Box is available free for placement next to a streaming video of a live event, on an individual's or company's Facebook page, or on any other site, according to a blog posting by Tom Whitnah, a software developer at Facebook. After getting an API (application programming interface) key, developers only need to upload a small file to the site and add a few lines of code to set up the stream.
Facebook has made live streams available to a few sites already. The first was CNN, during its coverage of the U.S. presidential inauguration in January. There have also been live streams on sites covering the NBA All-Star Game, the Academy Awards show and the Israeli election. The feature could also be used during a webinar, an online game, or included in a Facebook application.
Visitors can see the Facebook stream after signing in to Facebook using Facebook Connect. Then they can click a tab to see all status updates and comments related to the relevant content, or filter the stream to show only those of their Facebook friends. All entries appear on the commenter's Facebook home page streams in addition to the Live Stream Box. Each status update gets a link to the site hosting the Live Stream Box, so visitors' friends can be drawn to the site.