Facebook Makes Live API Available, Intros First Camera Partner

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With Facebook having kicked its video efforts into high gear for the past year, it's no surprise that the top story at the social network's F8 developer's conference today was live video. Delivering the opening keynote, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook's Live API is now publicly available. That means people who want to stream live video to the platform are no longer limited to their smartphones, and developers can build Facebook live streaming into third-party hardware and software. Ooyala and Grabyo support Facebook Live.

"We are at the beginning of a golden age of live video," Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg also announced Facebook Live's first camera partner, the Livestream Mevo. The Mevo is a Facebook-friendly rebrand of the company's Movi camera, which impressed the press at CES this year. The wide-angle 4K camera's software lets video creators cut between 720p close-up shots, giving the impression of a multi-camera system. The camera automatically detects faces for fast switching, and can even automate the editing.

For virtual reality video, Facebook has announced Facebook Surround 360, a hardware and software video capture system. Facebook isn't getting into the camera business, though. It designed the system and will release the hardware design and video stitching algorithms on Github this summer. The parts cost $30,000 online.

"In designing this camera, we wanted to create a professional-grade end-to-end system that would capture, edit, and render high-quality 3D-360 video. In doing so, we hoped to meaningfully contribute to the 3D-360 camera landscape by creating a system that would enable more VR content producers and artists to start producing 3D-360 video," wrote Brian K. Cabral, Facebook's director of engineering, in a blog post

In more serious news to video publishers, Facebook announced Rights Manager, its answer to YouTube's Content ID system. Content owners can use it to identify their own video and prevent others from uploading copies. Publishers can also monitor live streams for rebroadcast content. Unlike Content ID, Rights Manager doesn't give publishers the option to leave videos up but profit from their ads. The system isn't online yet, but publishers can apply for access.

The Surround 360 VR system

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