Facebook is now into the business of live streaming
Starting a live stream for celebrities means tapping the Post button inside the Mentions app, then selecting Live Video. They can add a pithy description for the video, and hit Go Live whenever they're ready.
As with Meerkat and Periscope, celebrities will also be able to toggle between their smartphone's front and rear cameras, see how many viewers have tuned in, as well as view (and hide) their comments. Videos are saved afterwards to their Facebook Pages.
A Facebook live video feature was a long time coming for the social network and a notable omission when it launched an embeddable video player at F8 this March. (If celebrities previously live streamed through Facebook, they used an outside service.)
Offering an in-house solution made sense for the second-most trafficked site in the world, notwithstanding a recent statement by Meerkat's CEO that Facebook was kind of irrelevant" for live media. Meerkat eventually conceded this wasn't quite the case when it added Facebook support for watching some streams back in May.
During this year's F8 keynote, Facebook director of platform Deborah Liu pointed out users watch over 3 billion videos daily. Meanwhile, thousands of celebrities with verified accounts use Facebook Mentions everyday, according to Vadim Lavrusik, product manager for Facebook Mentions.