First, Facebook brought live event streaming to celebrities and other public figures. Then last month, all iPhone users got to join the fun. Now, “Facebook Live” is coming to Android.
Facebook says the rollout for live streaming on Android will begin next week in the United States, with other countries to follow. The same feature is already available on iPhone, and Android users can already tune into those streams. But until now, Android users haven’t been able to create their own live video.
Once the feature arrives, Android users can start a Facebook Live broadcast by tapping the Status button in the main Facebook app for Android, then looking for “Live Video” under the “What’s on your mind?” heading. As with any status update, you can decide whether the live feed is available to friends, friends of friends, the public, or limited groups.
While broadcasting, users can post comments in real-time. Facebook also offers a subscribe button to users get notified when new broadcasts begin. Keep in mind that recordings of the broadcast are automatically saved to your Timeline unless you go back and delete them.
So far, Facebook hasn’t said whether it will bring live streaming capabilities to its desktop website or Windows apps.
Why this matters: Although Facebook is a little late to the live streaming party—Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope first launched last spring—Facebook Live does have the advantage of being built into one of the most widely-used mobile apps. (By comparison, Periscope streams now appear inside Twitter , but a separate app is required to broadcast or comment.) Compared to a dedicated app, the ease with which Facebook users can kick off a live broadcast might encourage more people to give it a try.