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Facebook Expands Live Video Streaming to All U.S. iPhone Owners

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Facebook is again expanding the number of members who can access its live video streaming feature. The social network announced via blog post that all iPhone users in the United States can now take part. In the coming weeks, Facebook will bring this to iPhone owners in other parts of the world.

Android phone users shouldn't feel left out: Support for Android phones is coming, but Facebook would only say that it will happen "soon."

iPhone owners will find the feature on the Update Status page. Tap the Live Video icon to start streaming. Members can write a description of their stream and select the audience they want to share it with. As with Periscope and Meerkat, viewers can post comments during the live stream. Completed streams are automatically saved to the timeline, although the creator has the option to delete them. Anyone watching can subscribe to get a notification when that person next streams live video.

Facebook began offering live video streaming to a select group of celebrities in August 2015. It opened the feature to a small group of iPhone users in December, and to all verified accounts later that month.

“Video is an important part of the Facebook experience, and continuing to invest here is important," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during this week's earnings call. Members now stream 100 million hours of video from the network every day, he added.

"With nearly 1 billion people using Facebook on their mobile devices every day, and 80 percent of ad revenue already coming from mobile, Facebook is about to give its users an even more compelling reason to keep their app open, generating even more targeted ad revenue," says Chris Knowlton, vice president and streaming industry evangelist at Wowza Media Systems. "Look for these mobile live streaming trends—live-video-enabled apps and targeted video advertising—to intensify as more content providers, news organizations, entertainers, and businesses in other industry segments increasingly turn to Facebook, Periscope, and other streaming-enabled apps as content outlets."

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