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Facebook Adds Scheduled Live Streams to Make Live Video More Like TV

Facebook Live broadcasters are getting a new option to schedule their shows: Facebook officially announced support for scheduled Live streams Tuesday, and is going to make the feature available to owners of verified Facebook pages later this week.

Eventually, everyone will be able to schedule live streams on Facebook, according to a blog post pinned by Facebook Live product manager Peter Roybal and Facebook Live software engineer Brian Lin. “Scheduling a live video makes it easier to build anticipation and buzz with your audience before your broadcast begins, so you can start strong with an audience already assembled,” the duo wrote.

The new scheduling feature automatically publishes an announcement post for an upcoming broadcast. Users who choose to get a reminder for the show in question will be pinged by Facebook in time before the broadcast starts. Scheduled broadcasts also get a so-called “pre-broadcast lobby,” which is essentially a page with a count-down timer that will automatically launch the video stream once the broadcaster goes live.

Facebook has put a lot of energy — and money — into attracting publishers to adopt Facebook Live for their broadcasts. The addition of scheduled broadcasts could help those publishers to more easily attract audiences to their shows.

And if lots of publishers make use of the feature, it could also give Facebook Live a bit more predictability, turning it from a medium where everyone always streams on short notice to something with a much clearer schedule. In other words: It would be a lot more like TV.

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