Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook will be prioritizing live streaming.

By Leena Rao
March 1, 2016

It’s no secret that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees a big potential in letting users post live video on his social network for others to watch. He reportedly mandated that live video, which was recently made available to celebrities and other verified users, be a top priority among the dozens of projects at his company.

In another reflection of live video’s importance, Facebook said today that would tweak its algorithm to make those streams appear higher in the news feed. When merely the equivalent of tape delay, they would appear lower.

Facebook explained the decision by saying people mostly want to watch live video in real-time.

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Live video is part of Facebook’s broader push into video, which already includes more than 8 billion video views per day on the network. That is double from only a few months earlier.

Part of what has contributed to that growth has been prioritizing video in users’ news feeds. It’s safe to assume that live video’s viewership would also benefit by making streams more prominent.

Facebook has taken on a slightly different approach with its live video than Periscope, the live-streaming app that Twitter acquired last year. Facebook has limited live video to high-profile users, unlike Periscope, which has become popular as a network for anyone to stream everything from breaking news to pop concerts.

Facebook live video is also a part of its core app, which gives the service greater reach. Periscope, in contrast, is in a separate app from Twitter’s main service.

 

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