Facebook rolls out friend features for live video, but no group chats
Facebook really wants you to talk to your friends — so it’s making it even easier for your inner circle to interact in and around its Live videos.
The social network just announced two new features for Live that will allow you to pull your friends into broadcasts: Live Chat with Friends and Live With.
Live Chat with Friends opens up a private chat room for just you and your friends during a video — if you want to discuss the subject of the stream in real time without airing your conversation to the general public, you can now just rope in a few friends on the side.
Using the feature looks pretty simple: while you’re viewing a stream, you’ll be able to invite friends into a separate chat room, whether they’re already watching the broadcast or not. You can still jump up to engage in the public convo without leaving the group (which sounds like it could be dangerous if you’re not careful) and the private room can keep talking after the Live video ends as a Messenger group.
Live Chat with Friends is being tested as a mobile-first feature for now in several countries according to Facebook, and will be released “more broadly” later this summer.
Live With actually brings a friend into your livestream. Instead of just pestering your friends with questions during a broadcast and reading their responses in the comments, you can actually pull their own stream in on a new window and interact with them onscreen. If your friend doesn’t want to join, though, they can turn you down.
You can see how it works in the video below, or check out a full tutorial if you plan on pulling your friends into Live streams right away.
Live With is now available for Profiles and Pages on the iOS version of the app. A Facebook rep told Mashable that Android users will be able to be invited into broadcasts at launch, and the ability to invite friends in should be available in the coming months.
Desktop users are left out of the new friend-centric Live experience — Facebook’s rep told us the company is “focusing on making the best experience possible for mobile,” at least for the time being.
Live videos draw more than ten times as many comments as regular videos, according to the blog post announcing the new capabilities, so Facebook is jumping to capitalize, doubling down and letting users rope in their friends should drive even more engagement to the streams.
Facebook’s new social stream features comes after the network reportedly conducted a consumer study on group video chatting app following the success of Houseparty, a group video platform that has picked up steam and a loyal user base in the coveted Youngs demographic. Live With still doesn’t put Facebook on the same level as as Houseparty, which is focused more on chatting than broadcasting, but it’s a move in that more personalized direction.