Facebook on Wednesday announced a massive new update to Facebook Live, its livestreaming application that competes directly with other services such as Periscope.
The update includes a ton of new features, so we’ll focus on the big ones that matter. First, users can now create specific events and groups that they’ll be able to broadcast to. That means you don’t have to broadcast to everyone in your network, just a select few who might care to watch you make an attempt at swallowing a flaming sword for the first time.
Viewers will like the next new feature: the option to replay video, comment on it, apply live filters and react in real-time.
“Live Reactions appear in real time and disappear quickly so broadcasters and other viewers can get a sense of how people are feeling at different points during the live video – it’s like hearing the crowd applaud and cheer,” Facebook said. “When your friend reacts to your video or to a video you are both watching together you’ll see their profile pic and a little starburst before their reaction appears.” That’s sort of like the heart bursts that appear when people react to videos on Periscope.
Nobody watching you live? The app now has a feature that lets you invite people directly to the livestream.
Finally, Facebook Live now has a dedicated spot inside of Facebook’s mobile applications. And, again, just like Periscope, on desktop computers you can tap that tab to see public live streams on a map of the world, allowing you to quickly jump in on the action.
The new features will hit iOS and Android versions of Facebook in the coming weeks.