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Facebook Wants You Streaming Live Video From Whatever Device You Choose

Facebook launches a live video API.


Facebook has a live video feature that lets you broadcast video from your smartphone to your Facebook friends. But Facebook wants more live video content, so it’s going to let people broadcast from all kinds of devices, including drones.

Facebook is launching a Live video API, which will let developers broadcast directly to Facebook from any device, not just smartphones, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who presented onstage at the company’s annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

That includes high-powered TV cameras or drones. To get the point across, Facebook sent a drone to hover onstage behind Zuckerberg mid-keynote, broadcasting the audience onto the screen.

Facebook cares a ton about live video, which has become a priority of sorts for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It wants live video to catch on with users, so it’s using a number of tricks to ensure users both create and see more live video.

The most Facebook-y of those tricks is that the company is prioritizing live video broadcasts in its News Feed algorithm so that they are more likely to be seen. It’s also paying celebrities and media properties to use the product, a way to grease the skids a bit and help get those influential creators using Live as often as possible.

If that wasn’t enough, it’s putting a live tab (quite literally) front and center in its iOS and Android mobile apps.

The new API could help entice bigger media players to go live, those that are used to producing video with a little more production power than a smartphone can capture.

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