Facebook has finally found a fix for its live videos feature where users enthusiastically turn on their live broadcast only to witness a room full of empty chairs. Starting this week, Facebook will now allow select users to schedule their live videos. Without defeating the idea behind live videos, the feature essentially means one could get the opportunity to build an audience before going live on Facebook. The newly announced feature is currently limited to Verified Pages. Now celebrities can plan to do a live Q/A session. With the schedule option, they can create a buzz in advance and also allow fans to manage their time to be available during the live video.
Facebook Live was rolled out for everyone in April, allowing a lot of users to get that live TV feel and share their experiences with users in real-time. Similar to every new feature that Facebook rolls out, the latest feature too is initially limited to Verified Pages allowing them to schedule live broadcasts. Publishers can use the Publishing Tools section to get started with scheduling a live video before they actually go live.
One of the downers when an user is doing a Facebook Live video is to build up an audience especially when it is carried out in times with low traffic. For example, if someone is going live in the early hours of the day, chances are there will be less number of live users watching the broadcast. Currently, the broadcast is spontaneous with the video available for later watch. It also distinguishes comments which were made live from the ones made after the live was over. With the scheduler option in place, it would help create the desired anticipation before going live. ALSO READ: Mark Zuckerberg responds to Facebook Live video of Philando Castile’s shooting
Currently, the tool will be supported for live videos published via the Facebook Live API. For scheduled Facebook Live videos, users will receive a notification that one will be going live in sometime. They can opt-in for a one-time reminder that will alert them shortly before the user actually goes live. This strategy works the best for celebrities or brands who have a global fan following and want to connect to all of them at once. The pre-broadcast lobby also allows fellow viewers to interact with each other.
One of the best part about the Facebook Live scheduling tool is that users can choose to schedule their broadcasts up to one week prior to the actual live and people can join the lobby three minutes before the actual broadcast begins. Users can further share a link to the broadcast or embed it on websites or personal blogs so that maximum viewership is achieved.
In order to schedule a video all that a Verified Page admin needs to do is go to Publishing Tools > Select Video Library > Live. From here, admin can copy their live stream’s credentials to write an announcement post for the scheduled broadcast and publish the announcement to the News Feed. News publishers can also embed the links in blog posts to publish breaking news with a Live video inside.
The feature will be rolled out to Verified Pages in the coming weeks. Facebook will also be rolling out the scheduling feature for publishers who use third-party tools to go live. ALSO READ: Facebook Live video feature is coming to desktops soon
All images: Facebook Media