Facebook is opening the flood gates on live video: The social network opened up live video streaming to all of its U.S.-based users on Thursday, allowing anyone with an iPhone and a U.S. Facebook account to broadcast video online.
Facebook has been experimenting with live video streaming for some time. Last summer, it enabled celebrities to stream video to their followers. And in December, it started to test video streaming with ordinary users, with the eventual goal to make it available to everyone.
The company announced Thursday that it wants to extend live streaming to the rest of the world in the coming weeks. Facebook product manager Vadim Lavrusik also said in a blog post Thursday that that the company was “working to bring live video to people using Android phones soon.”
Facebook’s growing live streaming ambitions are driven by its desire to further grow video views, and they put the company in direct competition with Twitter’s Periscope, which has become an early leader in this new wave of social live streaming services.