Facebook now lets verified journalists live-stream video to followers

bySam Berkhead
Sep 18, 2015 in Social Media

Previously, only celebrities, athletes, musicians, politicians and other “influencers” could live-stream video to followers via their Facebook pages.

Recently, however, Facebook expanded this feature to let journalists do the same.

Journalists with verified profiles or pages will now be able to stream video content directly to their followers via Mentions, a standalone app. Users can comment on and like the video as it streams, and replay video once the live-stream ends.

"We want to make Facebook a better experience for journalists whether it’s used for news-gathering or better connecting with their readers or to drive distribution to their content," Vadim Lavrusik, Mentions’ product manager, told Wired.

It’s easy to see why Facebook has made Mentions available to journalists. Earlier this year, Twitter made headlines for acquiring live-streaming app Periscope, which has drawn more than 10 million users within the first four months of its launch. Journalists have used Periscope to cover everything from the European refugee crisis to the protests in Baltimore against police brutality.

With almost 1.5 billion users on the social network, Facebook could easily precipitate the spread of live-streaming in journalism by bringing live news directly to people’s newsfeeds. What remains to be seen is whether journalists without verified profiles will take the time to get verified and begin using Mentions.

For prominent journalists like NBC NewsKeir Simmons, Facebook’s Mentions is just one more way to cover events as they happen and give followers a behind-the-scenes glance at creating the news.

To apply for profile or page verification on Facebook — and to begin live-streaming video to your own followers — click here.

Image CC-licensed on Flickr via Esther Vargas.