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Facebook introduces live video, but only for celebrities

August 5, 2015, 9:29 PM UTC
Photograph by Jonathan Nackstrand — Getty Images

Watching live video streams of regular people doing regular things can be fun, as Meerkat and Periscope have shown, but Facebook thinks watching celebrities on video is better, so on Wednesday, it rolled out a new feature for its famous users.

Now, celebrities who use Mentions, Facebook’s exclusive app that lets them post content to their Facebook page, will be able to broadcast video streams of themselves to their fans. The streams will show up on their page, which means it will show up in the news feeds of their Facebook fans.

Facebook users can watch, comment on, and share those streams while watching them live. And if they miss the broadcast, the videos will later be available on the celebrity’s Facebook page.

Folks like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Serena Williams, Luke Bryan, Ricardo Kaká, Ashley Tisdale, Lester Holt, Martha Stewart, and Michael Bublé will apparently soon start posting videos, according to Facebook.

What’s interesting is that, unlike Facebook’s usual move of building a suspiciously similar product to whatever is trendy, it decided to take a measured approach in the case of live streams. Instead of building a video streaming app for the masses like Meerkat or Twitter-owned Periscope, it’s starting with celebrities, an arguably strong test group to use as it polishes its video streaming product and strategy. The video archive aspect will likely also help its video ambitions.