‘TV camera in your pocket’: Facebook expands Live options

© Mark Zuckerberg
Live-streaming from Facebook is about to get a lot easier, as the Menlo Park-based company is rolling out new features aimed at surpassing Periscope in the field of user-generated video content.

Having already rolled out the livestreaming video service to most users in January, the company announced on Wednesday that it would enable Live in Facebook groups and events. Other features available right away include filters and the option to invite friends from inside the livestream.

“Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Wednesday. “Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world.”

Viewers who tune in can use the same reaction icons found elsewhere on Facebook – Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry – and they will be displayed in the broadcast, along with any comments.

“We want people watching the broadcast after the fact to feel ‘in’ on the action,” Facebook explained in the announcement. “To achieve this, we will replay comments as they happened during the live broadcast when people watch it later.”

© Facebook

Facebook will set up a dedicated place in its mobile iOS and Android apps where users can find videos. Ensuring that the Live features were smooth integrated into both operating systems has been the focus of a company-wide push over the past month, according to BuzzFeed News.

In an effort to advertise its new service, Facebook has offered financial incentives to a number of celebrities and media organizations, according to Re/code. Among those involved are the New York Times, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and Re/code’s parent company, Vox Media.

© Facebook

Facebook’s push into live video streaming is creating competition for Periscope, a live-streaming app acquired by Twitter in January of 2015, which already has many of the features now being touted by Facebook Live.