Facebook is testing a new way to “go live” on its social network – an option that was previously available by pressing the “Live” button on the Status update box. Now, for some users, the ability to “go live” – meaning start a live video broadcast – is appearing right within the Facebook Camera screen, alongside other options, like the ability to use Facebook Live Audio, or create a GIF.
Live streaming on Facebook was a feature first introduced back in 2015, initially only for public figures and celebrities. It later rolled out to regular Facebook users via the company’s iOS and Android applications, and, at the beginning of this year, to the desktop.
With the growing popularity of podcasts, Facebook later also added a Live Audio feature, designed largely for publishers and authors, who use it for things like news radio-like shows, book readings, and other audio-only broadcasts.
But you can’t “go live” from the Facebook Camera today, which actually seems a little odd.
It makes sense to combine all camera-related functions on just one screen, as this test is doing. That includes taking a personal photo or video to share on Facebook, using photo filters, making a GIF (another option still in testing), or recording live audio and live video.
For those who are seeing the new version of Facebook Camera, the different functions are appearing across the top of the screen under tabs that read “Live,” “Normal,” and “GIF.”
When you’re on the “Live” tab, you can tap on an icon of a video camera to live stream video, or tap on a microphone icon to just stream audio.
What’s more, the new feature also offers you the option to go live just in your Facebook Story, as opposed to sharing your live video in a regular Facebook post. Or you can “go live” both in your Facebook Story and post at the same time.
This is available from a drop-down menu that appears, where you can also choose your audience for the live recording – like Friends, a particular friends list, or Public, for example.
This “Live Facebook Story” option is basically Facebook’s version of the Instagram Live feature introduced last winter.
Facebook Live Stories were recently spotted in the wild, too:
Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that this is a test for the time being, and the feature hasn’t been fully rolled out to Facebook users.
The company also recently began testing Facebook Stories on the desktop web, but is planning that feature’s public launch soon.