Facebook Opens Up Live Video to Drones, TV Broadcast Feeds and Live Streaming Cameras

Facebook just took video streaming on its Live platform beyond the mobile phone: CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced during his keynote at the company’s f8 developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday that it is making its Live API publicly available.

This will allow developers to integrate live streaming into third-party apps and devices. Zuckerberg demonstrated this with a drone flying on stage, streaming video in real time to Facebook Live.

Of course, integrating Facebook Live should also open up the platform to broadcasters and other professional content producers that don’t want to use a phone to stream their videos. Rumor has it that Facebook has already been quietly testing live streaming of non-mobile video feeds with select partners in the past couple of months.

Some of the first infrastructure partners announced at f8 include Ooyala and Grabyo. Broadcasters and other publishers can use the tools of both companies to directly pipe their live video feeds onto Facebook Live.

Another partner is Mevo, a live streaming camera built by Livestream that has been used by Tastemade to stream some of its content on Facebook Live. Drone maker DJI will bring Live support to its Phantom drones with a software update in the coming weeks.

Zuckerberg also used the keynote to highlight the momentum that Facebook is seeing for live, reiterating that users share ten times more comments on a live video feed than on a regular video. “People love going live, because it’s so unfiltered and personal,” he said.

He added that Live also helps users to share things that they may not usually share within their newsfeed. Live “takes some of the pressure of finding that favorite photo or video,” Zuckerberg said. That’s an interesting statement in light of recent reports that personal sharing on Facebook has gone down.

Facebook started to roll out a major update to Live last week, adding a dedicated Video tab to its mobile apps, integrating live videos into groups and events and more. At the time, Zuckerberg also hinted at plans to make monetization of Live available to publishers in the coming months.

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