Facebook Live opens to developers, starting with Livestream, DJI and others

Facebook Live could take live video to a new level of popularity. Now third-party developers will get a chance to participate.

Today at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, the company said it’s releasing an API for developers who want to plug into Facebook Live, and it also announced the first partners — including Livestream (maker of the Mevo camera), BuzzFeed, Vidpresso and drone-maker DJI.

The goal, said Facebook’s Chris Cox (pictured above) is to allow “hundreds of people to experience the exact same moment at the exact same time.” Cox also said the API will allow both hardware- and software-makers to integrate with Facebook Live.

I got some more details from Livestream about its work with Facebook. You may remember Mevo under its original name, Movi. It’s a camera that offers the illusion of shooting video from multiple cameras, allowing you to edit on-the-fly using your iPhone and even create a video that’s automatically edited to focus on interesting footage.

Movi iPhone

Mevo isn’t limited to live broadcasting, but if you want to share live video, Facebook Live seems like a pretty obvious place to do it — except that Livestream has its own website for that. CEO Jesse Hertzberg told me Livestream’s aim is to give businesses all the tools they need to share video, even if it’s not on the Livestream site.

In particular, he said that one of the big pieces of early customer feedback was, “Man, I’d love to stream to Facebook, to Twitch, to anywhere I want.” So Livestream is working to make that possible.

“We obviously want to sell as many cameras as possible,” Hertzberg said. “This is a great way to open up the market.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAze1wH9TGc&w=560&h=315]

In particular, Hertzberg said Facebook’s reach can make it much easier to tell your fans and customers that a live event is happening right now. Livestream has already worked with publisher Tastemade to create the very first Mevo broadcast on Facebook Live, which you can watch below (though, uh, obviously, it’s no longer live).

The Mevo camera is currently available for pre-order at a price of $299, with plans for general availability in July.